Third annual Māori Business Sector Report - Charting a new course

Whāia te mātauranga kia mārama – Seek knowledge to gain understanding



Charting a new course

Ka mau te wehi! We’re delighted to announce the release of BDO’s third annual edition of Pūrongo Pakihi Māori, Māori Business Sector Report. 'Whakatere Nga Rerenga Hou’ (Charting a New Course) provides valuable insights shared by Māori Business in Aotearoa. 

The survey helps provide a voice from a sector that is not often researched but occupies a unique place in Aotearoa’s business life. When we launched this survey we wanted to contribute to understanding of both the sector and its success. We believe 2021’s findings are particularly valuable at a time of extraordinary change.


Overcoming adversity through resilience

Māori have a strong tradition in navigation, overcoming adversity through resilience.

The 2021 survey confirmed the ongoing impact of COVID-19. But Māori businesses have also come through the year finding new ways to adapt and rise to the challenges they face.

As Māori business operators chart their way through COVID-19 we are beginning to see areas of focus shift slightly, balancing the importance of pūtea (profit) alongside traditional focus areas of tāngata (people) and te Taiao (the environment).

This year’s survey saw an increase in focus on business finances alongside traditional emphasis on happy and healthy whānau and whenua – understanding that improving wellbeing for people and planet can only be achieved if the business itself is successful. This has led to a deepening understanding of financial planning – with two-thirds of respondents saying lockdowns have afforded an opportunity to increase knowledge in financial planning and outcomes.

Māori business have always defined success in their own terms, creating value for whānau and community. They continue to plan and are confident in this but acknowledge opportunities for greater gains through more formal training and support - 41% of respondents saying they had had to learn through experience. 


Kaitiakitanga even more important

Kaitiakitanga remains key – 88% of businesses surveyed said they consider their business to be environmentally sustainable, jumping 9% from last year. This is testament to Māori businesses’ genuine connection to the whenua and is something that traditional corporates and businesses can learn much from. 

BDO are proud and delighted and to be part of the Māori business sector through the advisory services we provide all over Aotearoa New Zealand. We want to thank the Māori business operators who generously contributed their time to this survey. We trust its findings are valuable for the sector and all those committed to advancing its success, and that you can use it to chart your own course for the future.

We run the BDO Māori Business Sector Report each year not only to contribute to understanding of the sector, but because we are constantly looking to learn from you so we can make sure we’re contributing to your future success and wellbeing. If the report has raised any questions for you, or you’d like to learn more about how you can embrace some of the opportunities it highlights, please do drop into one of our offices or give us a call today so we can kōrero with you – and together chart a new course for the future.

Angela Edwards
BDO Māori Business Sector Lead and Partner