The Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s Governor, Adrian Orr, spoke at the Federation of Māori Authorities Me Uru Kahikatea (FOMA) annual conference in Nelson today, which is in its 32nd consecutive year.
Governor Adrian Orr praised Māori businesses for their sustainable and innovative approach to business: “the economic practices of your tīpuna are well known to have been, and continue to be, long-term and inter-generational. Your investments aim to be values-based in the interests of your mokopuna and their mokopuna.”
This year’s annual conference theme ‘Bringing us together through Nga Taonga Tuku Iho’ is intended to challenge FOMA members about their thinking and generate conversations around protecting their cultural capital for generations to come.
Mr Orr said, “Mahi tahi (working together) relies on long-term trust and confidence between people and business, and trust is generally easier to sustain amongst those with shared values. Globally, consumer and investor preferences are changing rapidly with their values. Prosperous economic activity is increasingly associated with a sustainable environment, cultural diversity, and social inclusion.
“Māori business – and New Zealand in general – can benefit significantly from better operating under an umbrella of shared values. More collective effort overcomes the fact that no one person or business entity has monopoly access to resources, capability, and capital – the three ingredients of an investment opportunity.”
Mr Orr noted that ‘Māori businesses can have both advantages and challenges to consider. Banks are less likely to offer credit to “unsecured” collectively owned assets, which reduces flexibility for some Māori businesses. “However, over the longer-term, these businesses are less indebted and hence more resilient to economic shocks or credit squeezes. Collective Māori businesses bring financial stability to the primary industry that is often lacking.”