Wright named on Forbes Asia list

By Harata Brown

26-year-old Shay Wright has been named as part of the  Forbes Under 30 Asia list which recognises 300 of the top promising young world leaders in 10 different business sectors. The co-founder of Te Whare Hukahuka credits his upbringing in the small community of Kaitaia to some of his success today.

Shay Wright has secured a spot as a top social entrepreneur in one of the most trusted resources for world business. 

Co-founder of Te Whare Hukahuka, Shay Wright (Te Rarawa, Ngaruahine and Ngāti Ruanui) says, "Well it's an exciting opportunity for us because it puts Māori on the map globally."

Forbes' Social Entrepreneur section recognises skills that leverage business tools to solve world problems.

The company Wright co-founded with Travis O'Keefe, Te Whare Hukahuka, provides expert advice on how to make indigenous and Māori communities become more effective.

“I think if we can really show that Māori have success stories, and be part of a movement that have indigenous communities have a new way of doing things, a way that can be beneficial for the rest of the world, then I am all for championing that kaupapa,” says Shay Wright.

As the Head of Māori Development at Ice House, Wright's work also involves developing sustainable and successful Māori trusts.

Although the former Kaitaia College Head Boy dropped out of law school, that didn't deter him from following his dreams.

Wright says coming from a small community like Kaitaia brings a different perspective, "We think more creatively, and I think we are more grass roots and what that means is that I've got my feet firmly on the ground but because I've been to University I think I'm quite exposed to a whole lot of opportunities.”

Wright will attend the Forbes Under 30 Asia List conference in Singapore in May.

Meanwhile, Ngāti Porou sportsman Nehe Milner-Skudder has also been named in the Entertainment and Sport section.