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Pakihi Māori Summit returns to support Whanganui business growth

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DJ Sir-Vere (right) speaks to MC Taiaroa Neho during last year's Whanganui Pakihi Māori Summit.

Moana Ellis

DJ Sir-Vere (right) speaks to MC Taiaroa Neho during last year’s Whanganui Pakihi Māori Summit.

A business summit in Whanganui on Saturday aims to boost support for Maori Pakihi.

The four-hour event is a collaboration between Whanganui Pakihi Māori and economic development agency Whanganui & Partners.

Whanganui Pakihi Māori leader Seletar Taputoro said the summit was a chance for Māori businesses to share and find information and strengthen their networks.

“Our Pakihi Māori Summit provides a connection for our local Pakihi Māori, from start-ups to side businesses and everything just to connect to the services available to them. This is to enable them to get the support and information they need to enable them to develop their pakihi and move on to the next phases.

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Taputoro said the summit would allow networking with Maori stakeholders and suppliers, as well as other Pakihi they could collaborate with as their business grows.

The summit was first held last year after Pakihi Māori identified the need for more information to help start-up businesses, including how to price and cost products and services, how to manage compliance, insurance, IRD registration, opening bank accounts and other specific business information needed to run businesses effectively and efficiently.

Taputoro said Whanganui Pakihi Māori hopes to establish a framework for the development of Māori businesses, ensuring that there is a healthy business ecosystem to support the prosperity of Māori businesses and whānau.

“The idea of ​​creating this Maori business ecosystem and coming from the awa is a great model that we are really working on so that any of our whānau that comes in or has an idea can be a part of it and can to contribute to the growth and bring the pakihi to where they need to be.

“Just the simple things like a logo or pitching your elevator pitch, all the way to the more complex mahi you need to do in terms of accounting or marketing. We want to be able to provide a full range where anyone, in any position in their company, can come to learn and grow.

“It’s about coming together as a community and inspiring and supporting each other,” Taputoro said. “We want people to have the confidence to convert their early business ideas and concepts into successful businesses.”

The summit will bring together Whanganui & Partners, Te Manū Atatu, Te Puni Kōkiri, Inland Revenue Te Tari Taake, ANZ, Department of Social Development, Statistics NZ, The Generator and Thrive, and 18 pakihi will have booths, creating an interactive space where people can browse and learn.

Whanganui & Partners – Business Strategy Manager Suz Hepi said there is a big advantage for companies to be able to meet and talk to support services in one place and get an idea of ​​the extent of assistance available.

“Kanohi ki te kanohi (face-to-face) interaction makes all the difference in people feeling supported and valued,” Hepi said.

The Pakihi Māori Summit, hosted by MC Taiaroa Neho, is free and runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Frank Bar + Eatery on Saturdays. Speakers include musician DJ Sir-vere, Ash Patea from Kii Tai Culture & Education, costume designer Lee Williams from Paetuia and Richie and Casey Graham from Grahams Civil Contractors.