Critical success factors for Māori economic development have been identified in a just released report on the three-year Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga (NPM) research programme – Te Tupunga Māori Economic Development.
This research programme has been conducted by Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi, in partnership with Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa, four participating iwi – Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Kahungunu, Te Whānau-ā-Apanui and Ngāpuhi – and NPM.
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.
Distinguished 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.”
“Māori and iwi expectations are not simply focused on the bottom line; they are simultaneously focused on the impacts on the people and culture. When economic, cultural and social outcomes of success are attained as ‘joint outcomes’ then we are more likely to be achieving Māori wellbeing.”
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.”
“Te Tupunga sought to understand and define the journey of a community from dependence to independence as a result of ongoing iwi centred development. The Māori dimension to New Zealand’s economy is unique and growing, and there are significant needs, as well as opportunities available.
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.”