Supporting social outcomes in BDO’s Māori Business team

Joshua Lodge, Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Koata, Business Advisory Services, BDO Christchurch

Ko Te Pohue te maunga
Ko Koukourārata te awa me te moana
Ko Puāri te Marae
Ko Tutehuarewa te whare tipuna
Ko Ngati Huikai te hapū
Ko Ngāi Tahu raua Ngāti Koata ōku Iwi
Ko Joshua Lodge tōku ingoa

I haven’t had the most traditional of careers. When I left school, I joined the army and served 5 years as an Infantryman before attending university when I was 24, studying accounting. I started off as an auditor at KPMG in Wellington then moved to Christchurch and worked for Ngāi Tahu Property, an iwi-owned commercial property development company. I joined BDO eight months ago and have loved it so far.

BDO appealed to me because I’d heard really good things about them through a colleague at Ngāi Tahu. They said it’s got all the upsides of working for a big firm in terms of training and development but there’s still lots of emphasis on work-life balance.

It’s great here because there’s no micromanaging, they trust all of us to do our work and when we need help they will support us. The Partners’ doors are always open and you can just go in and have a kōrero, they’re all normal people and there’s also a big emphasis on training here so whatever you want to learn you can do it.


Providing examples to rangatahi

I’m really passionate about social outcomes for Māori, so getting to work with a Partner called Phillip Roth who does a lot of Māori business work is really engaging for me. I’ve really loved it so far, my work has quite a lot of diversity because I’m split 50:50 between BAS and strategy. I’m normally out and about chatting to clients and networking, and then identifying how I can help those clients overcome problems and grow. I also get to present to clients and stakeholders around topics such as financial literacy and performance which I really think is really important for Māori going forward.

I love working in the Māori business team. I’m passionate about helping Māori businesses do well, so that there can be more opportunities for more young Māori to enter business and provide examples to other rangatahi about what career journey they might be able to follow. That’s why I was so excited when BDO announced it was doing a Māori accounting scholarship – it’s not lost on me how few Māori accountants there are but if you can see people in front of you in the profession then that helps to encourage others to take the same path. This is what we’ve done when we’ve taken Ngāi Tahu cadets on in Christchurch and I’m really excited about the momentum we’re getting in the team. 


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.