Manaaki in the BDO Māori Business Team - Supporting my passion to help my people

Applications are open for the Sir Henare Ngata Scholarship for Māori accountant students! 

Today, we hear from Solomon Dalton, Partner at BDO Northland, about how he was brought up understanding the importance of manaaki, and how he applies that today in his passion to help his people.

Remember there are three scholarships up for grabs! 



Solomon Dalton, Business Advisory Services, BDO Kerikeri

My whānau have always been on the whenua up here and while I went down to Auckland to study I always intended to return home eventually – BDO’s presence in the regions meant I was able to do this.

While I was studying in Auckland I also worked in the film industry as a grip. After I graduated I went full time into film for a while, then got a job as a company accountant. Auckland was fun but it was time to go home, so I sent my CV to my uncle who used to work at BDO and he put me in touch with a Partner who then offered me a job.

It’s great working up here because I’m always out on client sites, I go to a lot of farms and different trusts, it’s really nice to see clients face to face and means I get to see different parts of Northland. I do a lot of facilitation work too, as well as trainings and seminars that are open to anyone.

BDO’s supported me massively throughout. I remember my first governance workshop I went to, I was just driving up there and helping them set up and they gave me the opportunity to present. Whenever I need training or information, or even support with my family, a Partner is there to help.


Manaaki in the Māori Business team

For me working in the Māori Business team is about supporting my passion to help my people. I’ve always been brought up understanding the importance of manaaki and working in BDO’s Māori Business team enables me to support that. Even basic things like sharing information about the wage subsidy to help Māori businesses get through COVID-19 has been really important for the people I’m helping.

The scholarship is great because we’re so underrepresented in the profession. If we can get even one or two who decide to become an accountant and who have that same passion and drive as me then we’ll be able to help so many more Māori businesses. The more the merrier!


If you’re thinking about applying to the Sir Henare Ngata scholarship and would like to learn more about what it’s like to work at BDO, our Māori Business Team are happy to kōrero with you. Either drop into your local BDO office or contact us.