Research identifies strategies for Māori Economic Development

By Wikitōria Day

Critical success factors for Māori Economic Development have been identified in a report released just recently on the three-year Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga research programme, Te Tupunga Māori Economic Development.

This research programme was conducted by Te Wānanga o Awanuiārangi in partnership with Te Runanga o Ngāti Awa, four participating iwi- Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Kahungunu, Te Whānau-a-Apanui and Ngāpuhi.

The associated report He Mangōpare Amohia: Strategies for Māori Economic Development was launched at Mātaatua, Te Mānuka Tūtahi, in Whakatāne on Thursday, 21 May and details the findings of the research, which has a vision of transforming Māori/iwi economic development.

Professor Graham Hingangaroa Smith who led the programme, engaged with the four participating iwi, who brought their values, insights and aspirations to the research.  Professor Smith said the project focused on critical questions which originated from these groups, and reflected the interests of Māori, iwi and community.
"Our intention was to address the significant silence and absence of Māori and iwi answers to the question of 'what counts as transforming Māori and iwi economic development?"
"A key issue for Māori and iwi is to exercise a greater self-determining influence over the models of development that they utilise, and ensure that these models appropriately reflect their economic interests and their social and cultural development aspirations. The power to 'self-develop' is a key strategy."
NPM Research Director, Dr Dan Hikuroa said "this research initiative pursued new ways of addressing research questions, issues and opportunities for our communities, which allowed for a fresh and innovative approach to identifying ways in which Māori economic performance could be optimised."

He says "The primary focus of this research was to establish a Māori economic development framework centred on collaboration, co-creation, investigation and engagement - which would all then be used as catalysts for transformation. The programme has achieved these goals, and will now be one more tool that is available to empower economic growth amongst our communities and support the wellbeing of future generations of Aotearoa and the environment in which they live."