Māori category finalists named for 2015 New Zealand International Business Awards

20 January 2015: What do Australia, China, Viet Nam and the United States have in common? They are just some of the markets the Māori category finalists in the 2015 New Zealand International Business Awards are exporting to.

Celebrating the passion, vision and new approaches that New Zealand businesses are taking to achieve international success, the New Zealand International Business Awards are run by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise with support from Strategic Partner ANZ.

Sealord and Kono, both based in Nelson, and Taupo-based Miraka are all contenders in the inaugural He kai kei aku ringa Award for Māori Excellence in Export, which recognises Māori business contribution to the New Zealand export economy – the approach, values and tikanga that underpin and uniquely define Māori business. These three companies collectively employ over 1700 staff.

What makes contenders in this category particularly unique – and unifies them – is Māori culture and how it underpins sustainable business practice, an intergenerational outlook, long-term partnerships and relationships, and an ability to tell powerful stories and connect with other cultures.

Robin Hapi, one of the judges for the He kai kei aku ringa for Māori Excellence in Export Award, says the three finalists are world class exporters that draw on culture, people, innovation and assets.

“Māori business strengths lie not just in economic assets but in our values and ideas –  Whanaungatanga (the importance of relationships), Kaitiakitanga (guardianship of the environment), Rangatiratanga (self-determination or Māori control of Māori assets) and Manaakitanga (care of people). All are important contributing factors to the success of these companies.”

The Māori economy is substantial for New Zealand, totalling around $40 billion across a range of assets including fishing, forestry, sheep and beef, dairy production and kiwifruit.

“If the Māori economy is going to grow, we need to grow more Māori companies of international scale to take our place on the world’s stage, and these finalists demonstrate just what is possible for our Māori companies internationally,” adds Hapi.

Miraka, a young state-of-the-art manufacturer in the New Zealand dairy processing industry, is owned by a group of Māori trusts and incorporations. The company’s vision of 'nurturing our world' reflects a global outlook, and is founded on a strong set of values that will ensure sustained prosperity for current and future generations. Export markets include China and Viet Nam.

Premium food and beverage company Kono farms over 530 hectares of land and sea, and exports to over 25 countries, including the United Kingdom, Singapore and Malaysia. Its focus is on producing high quality wine, fruit and seafood, all underpinned by traditional Māori values of Rangatiratanga, Kaitiakitanga, Whanaungatanga and Manaakitanga.

Sealord spans five continents and delivers $500 million worth of seafood to more than 30 countries each year, including the US, Australia and Hong Kong. Sealord is Māori's largest vertically integrated global business and New Zealand’s largest seafood company with global operations in quota, fishing, aquaculture, processing and marketing. The company is also a finalist in the ‘ANZ Best Business Operating Internationally – Over $50m’ category of the Awards.

Hapi says the Māori economy has huge potential to lift the New Zealand economy. “Education of our young will be critical, alongside the creation of high value jobs, and international businesses of scale that build on technology, IP and the creativity of our people.”

Winners will be announced at a black tie ceremony on 25 March at Sky City in Auckland.

Follow the finalists on Twitter: @NZTEnews, #NZIBA; Facebook: facebook.com/NZtradeandenterprise; and online at www.nziba.co.nz/finalists

Journalists seeking more information, including company imagery, can contact:

Deirdre Robert

Senior Communications Consultant

(09) 354 9139


Editor's notes

About the New Zealand International Business Awards

The New Zealand International Business Awards are organised by NZTE, with the support of Strategic Partner ANZ. They celebrate New Zealand business success in the world and recognise professional excellence and innovative practice. They provide an opportunity for New Zealand businesses to benchmark performance, build capability and boost employee morale. For more information, visit www.nziba.co.nz

The He kai kei aku ringa award for Māori Excellence in Export Award judging panel

  • Robin Hapi, NZTE and Callaghan Innovation Board Member, Chair of BERL, Chair of Te Wananga-o-Raukawa.
  • Sir Wira Gardiner, Chairman of holding company Lawson Powell Limited and former professional soldier, senior public servant and writer.
  • Tina Wilson, Chief Executive Officer for the Iwi Investor Group, Senior Investment Advisor and Specialised Manager for the IWIinvestor KiwiSaver Scheme, Director of tourism company Kai Waho, Chair of Professional Services company He Akina.
  • Janine Smith, Chair of AsureQuality, Director of Steel and Tube Holdings and Kensington Swan Legal, and a Principal of The Boardroom Practice Limited.

The Māori economy

The Māori economy is substantial, totalling around $40 billion across a range of asset classes including: 40% of forestry land, 38% of fishing quota, 30% of lamb production, 12% of beef and sheep units, 10% of dairy production, 10% of kiwifruit, and ownership of geothermal, digital, services, education and tourism businesses.

Māori population are young (23.9 yrs median age) and represent a large section of the future workforce – 63% of the population are working age.