Groundbreaking work provides valuable outline of what
drives Māori businesses and community ventures
What do a mānuka-honey cooperative in Northland, a ginseng exporter in the King Country and a prison services provider
in Dunedin have in common? All are examples of Māori-owned business forging a distinctive identity in New Zealand’s
economic and social future.
Based on a five-year research project that blended on-the-ground interviews with scholarly analysis, Whāriki reveals how kin-based business ventures created by Māori are driving social, economic and environmental wellbeing from
the whenua (land) up.
The core of the book is eight case studies of Māori businesses. From iwi-driven ideas to whānau enterprises, from Te
Hiku o Te Ika in the Far North to Otākou in the Far South, these chapters unpick the business models of primary
producers, service providers and social enterprises as they seek to grow their own solutions to economic opportunities
As Merata and Paul write in the introduction:
“Whatever the particular trajectories of each, Whāriki is a binding of threads, revealing the entrepreneurial spirit that still burns despite the ongoing impacts of
colonisation; a spirit persistently emerging time and again from within the Māori kin community world.”
Merata Kawharu (Ngāti Whātua, Ngāpuhi) is Research Professor at the Centre of Sustainability, University of Otago. Her most recent book
was Maranga Mai! Te Reo and Marae in Crisis? In 2012 she was made MNZM for services to Māori education.
Paul Tapsell (Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Raukawa) is Professor of Indigenous Studies at the University of Melbourne. His other books with
Oratia are Te Ara, with Krzysztof Pfeiffer and Pūkaki, translated by Scotty Morrison.