Story: Ngā umanga – Māori business enterprise
Page 4 – Māori small and medium enterprises
In the early 2000s there was a range of Māori businesses, involved in a variety of different fields.
Kiwa Media Group
Kiwa Media Group was one of a number of Māori film production companies in New Zealand in the early 2000s. The establishment of Māori television in 2004 gave these companies a boost. Rhonda Kite of Te Aupōuri is the director of Kiwa. The company got its start translating overseas cartoons into Māori for television. They produced a number of documentaries and went on to make a series called Kete aronui and a number of feature films.
Entrepreneurial Māori talent has made it to the world’s film and television heights. Taika Waititi was nominated for an Oscar for his short film Two cars one night, and his first full-length film Eagle vs. shark premiered at the Sundance festival. Wiremu Grace has had short films in the Cannes Film Festival (Tūrangawaewae) and at the Berlinale (Kēhua).
Fiona Wilson established the first Māori chartered accountancy firm in January 1996, in partnership with Rangimarie Parata Takurua. In the early 2000s the Pareārau Group worked with tribal groups to develop their management of assets.
Taakawa, an ale infused with native kawakawa leaves, was created by Simon Burney from Fiji and Bruce Smith from Ngāti Raukawa. In the early 2000s they went from home brewing to producing approximately 30,000 litres a year through an Auckland-based brewery.
Bill Groves developed a prototype for a ground-loading trailer using cardboard boxes, an ice-cream container and milk-bottle tops. He took it to an engineer who developed the trailer from the model. Groves borrowed money from a friend to build the first trailer, then secured a worldwide patent for his design. Hydraulics allowed the trailer to lower so cars could drive straight on without ramps or manpower, and then be raised.
Kia Kaha clothing started in 1994 as a family-owned and -operated backyard business selling T-shirts at a flea market in the Bay of Plenty. Maintaining whānau directorship and encouraging whānau involvement, Kia Kaha was a Māori enterprise which saw whānau support as a principal factor driving the enterprise. Kia Kaha's vision was to be New Zealand's leading Māori clothing company, and to develop an international market.
As well as having a Māori name and product design, Kia Kaha directors adhered to Māori customs and protocol. All designs were first approved by kaumātua and kuia (elders) before release, new clothing and premises were blessed, and designs were traditionally inspired but did not exploit iwi cultural property.
Taylormade was a small advertising and video production company begun by Ian Taylor of Ngāti Kahungunu and Ngāpuhi in 1990. By 2009 it employed 30 staff including animators, programmers, writers, designers, actors and producers. In 1992 Taylor’s company Animation Research developed sports graphics for the America’s Cup yacht race coverage, which allowed races to be tracked and displayed on screen in real time, using global positioning. Animation Research developed this technology for many sports and has sold it around the world.