Māori enterprises to receive greater opportunities to do business with Government agencies

Source: 1News

A new initiative will see Māori enterprises receive greater opportunities to do business with Government agencies in a bid to accelerate their economic recovery amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Māori Development Minister Willie Jackson and Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash today announced a new five per cent target for public service contracts for Māori businesses.

It’s hoped the new target will encourage public service agencies to consider other businesses when awarding contracts.

“The Government spends $42 billion a year on procurement of goods and services. We are looking for more ways to use this buying power to accelerate the economic recovery for Māori businesses,” Jackson said today in a statement.

“This approach will support Māori businesses to participate in our economic recovery as we build back better.”

Jackson said the new target is an "important step towards a more inclusive and prosperous society" which honours a Labour Party election promise to "better support whānau Māori enterprise".

He said small and medium-sized businesses "face significant challenges" amid the Covid-19 pandemic, which is “exactly why targeting Māori businesses and jobs is a priority for the new Government”.

“The target will encourage agencies to use their buying power to create social and economic value,” he said.

Nash said the new target for Government procurement “will further improve cash flow and “diversify the customer base” for Māori businesses, while also building “more resilience into Māori economic activity”.

“By accessing more of the Government’s annual procurement spend, Māori business owners and staff will benefit from greater training and employment opportunities, economic resilience and business growth,” he said.

“Māori businesses have a strong presence in the primary sector and tourism, in accommodation and the food industry, the retail sector and in the trades.

“This policy has the potential to further assist with kickstarting of economic activity into other sectors.”