Pakihi initiative to support Māori businesses

By Te Kuru o te Marama Dewes

Waikato-based Māori electrical company Kaha Energy Solutions are one of thirty small Māori businesses capitalising on Pakihi, a nationwide series of free, business education workshops being delivered through Te Wānanga o Aotearoa and business partners Crowe Horwath and Aotahi. 

The initiative was launched today at Waikato-Tainui Research Centre in Hopuhopu.

Kaha Energy Solutions are helping their iwi keep the lights on.

“In 2015, after working in the electrical industry for 20 years I decided to go out on my own, with the help of my fathers 92 truck, set of hand tools, made the big step to enter the business world,” says Kaha Energy Solutions founder Danny Beattie.

“Just having the opportunity to be part of Pakihi, to surround myself with those support networks, building relationships, hopefully grow my business,” says Beattie.

Pakihi is business education targeted at three different phases of growth, from ideas to growth and development.

Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta says it’s been set up “to assist, encourage and focus on those who want to contribute, those who want to take this path.”

Supported by The Māori Innovation Fund (MBIE), Nanaia Mahuta says it's about networking and support.

 “Te Wānanga o Aotearoa are providing conducive environments where families can come together with those who support their ideas,” says Mahuta.

200 free business education workshops will be held throughout the country.

The programme will run across 25 locations in Aotearoa from next month until October next year.

Pakihi is supported by Te Pūnaha Hiringa: Māori Innovation Fund which is managed by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

This fund sits under He Kai kei aku Ringa -the Crown-Māori strategy for Māori Economic Development, co-led by Te Puni Kōkiri and MBIE.