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Charting a New Course through the Pandemic – The Gisborne Herald

NAVIGATING A PANDEMIC: The image accompanying BDO’s Third Maori Business Sector Report.

KYLEE POTAE: Kylee says positive thinking has been a plus for Maori businessmen looking for a way forward during tough times.

Despite the constraints, Maori businesses have strategically navigated through the pandemic, the 2021 BDO Māori Business Sector Report showed.

BDO Gisborne director Kylee Potae said this year’s Maori sector report, the third of its kind, was not surprising.

“Charting a new course is common not only for Maori in business, but for the entire community, as the world has changed as a result of the pandemic – our markets, our shopping and our social needs. “

Ms Potae said that for Maori people, trust was of the utmost importance in the face of continual change.

“Having strong leadership to lead these entities through difficult times like the pandemic – for there is no doubt that your collective will will sometimes crumble when you chart a new course.

“Strong leadership is what kept a hand calm and helped everyone stay together.

“I often find that Maori businesses have their values ​​embedded in their strategic thinking.

“A key value is aroha (love), so they lead with aroha to move their collective forward. “

According to the survey report, whānau / community and whenua (land) remained the top priority for Maori business owners.

“There is an interconnectivity between whānau and whenua – in the creation story we come from papatuanuku who is the mother of the Earth, so we are mentally, physically and spiritually connected to whenua.

“As a Maori, making sure both are well is the goal of optimal well-being,” Ms. Potae said.

In the report, finances were seen as a mechanism for keeping whānau and whenua well, she said.

“Finances are just a tool to get better results for whānau and whenua.

“Finances will never get past that, but Maori in business also know the importance of being seated next or next to this outcome. They must work with the tool to reinvest and nourish whānau and whenua.

Ms Potae said that despite the constraints of the pandemic, the Maori have been able to cope successfully.

“Maori are entrepreneurial – with that mindset they always look for the positive to get by. That is why Maori are not afraid to forge new paths. “

Ms Potae said one of the constraints Maori face in doing business is short-term and long-term planning.

“For us as Maori the long term goal is to think about the generations to come. We’re challenged to break that down and bring it back to today’s reality – the decisions we’re going to be making right now.

“We are reflecting on the impact of these decisions on future generations.

“Navigate here and now with the spirit of long-term impact.

Different Maori organizations will have a different idea of ​​the time frame for this.

“For some of us, putting a year and a date on it is a challenge – here and now, versus the impact on future generations.”

Ms Potae said another challenge was that the financial sector did not have enough knowledge about collective assets and therefore was not adept at dealing with issues specific to the needs of Maori businesses.

“A lot of times we have collectively owned assets and our financial industry can’t really cope with it in the sense that they’re used to dealing with Mr. or Mrs. X, and when you’re dealing with around 1000, 2000, 3000 or so. 50,000 who have collective assets, many of our financial models in the market cannot cope with it, or the mechanisms are not in place to cope.

“It’s just put in the too hard basket (‘we just don’t know how to handle this’), so there can be a capital constraint for no other reason than this collective asset base and a financial system that doesn’t. is not suitable to deal with it.

“Over time, we find that financial institutions rise to the challenge of trying to adapt.

“I think the positive narrative about the Maori sector and economic growth really helps financial institutions see the sector as a very real place to invest.

“Likewise, Maori are starting to say that we cannot wait for these financial institutions, so collectively they wonder if they have a financially wealthy Maori organization, how could they finance capital through it.

“It’s the ‘Tuakana-Teina’ model which in Maoridom means that an older brother helps a younger brother, because it has become much easier, with a greater chance of success. “

Ms Potae said many people have characterized Maori decision-making as a slow and lengthy process, not knowing how difficult collective decision-making could be.

“I would like to take the challenge again and say get all your first cousins, second and third in one room and tell me how quick it will be to make a decision about what you’re going to have for dinner that night.”

“It’s collective decision making that takes time.

“First, the Maori always come up with a well-balanced way forward because we have debated it to the death.

“Second, opportunities that weren’t good die off because they don’t last long enough and don’t manage the time it takes to make a decision – they just disappear, which in my opinion is a blessing in disguise. .

“We’re not too slow, we just have generation levels that are all part of the conversation. It’s a challenge, but it’s also rewarding.

“I think that’s what helps Maori continue to bounce back from a rough patch and keep pushing back.

“We still believe there is a better way forward.”


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