Hon Nanaia Mahuta
Te Minita Whanaketanga Māori
Minister for Māori Development
30th July 2019 PĀNUI PĀPĀHO MEDIA STATEMENT
Māori Development Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta has launched Te Ahikōmako the first centre of Māori innovation and entrepreneurship that will be open to all Māori business entrepreneurs, innovators and whānau in the Waikato region.
Located at the Te Wānanga o Aotearoa – Mangakotukutuku campus Nanaia Mahuta says this is the ideal place for our people to access these services in order to fulfil their business aspirations.
“Māori have always been innovative in their thinking and approaches, so it is really important that we have professional services that our whānau can access in the regions that will help them to realise their business ideas,” Hon Nanaia Mahuta says.
Te Ahikōmako will be a centre that whānau can come to access mentoring and business advice which will enhance their capability to further their business aspirations.
“The current figures suggest that Māori enterprise is worth over $50 billion and is growing at a faster rate than the economy as a whole. Our regional economies are where Māori are most likely to make more of an impact,” says the Minister.
“Having a regional hub such as this one in the Waikato is one of the ways that we have invested in our regions to ensure that our emerging Māori entrepreneurs and whānau can come and test their business ideas and concepts. Here they can get access to the required skills and mentoring options that will vastly increase their chances of success.
“ I am also delighted that this was an act of cross Government cooperation with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment through the Provincial Growth Fund contributing $500,000. This is a joint initiative with Te Puni Kōkiri who contributed a further $150,000.
“Te Ahikōmako was developed and designed by Māori in order to meet the very specific needs of Māori and it will be a place where our whānau can realise and bring to life their business ideas and concepts – this is about whānau success and creating a robust regional economy for the future,” says Nanaia Mahuta.
This initiative was one of the ideas that was set out in the Waikato Māori Economic Development Plan 2018 and more recently in the refreshed plan Te Whare Ohaoha which Minister Mahuta launched in June this year.