A new $60,000 grant from BayTrust will be used to help upskill the leaders of five Maori enterprises across the Bay of Plenty to ensure their businesses grow and succeed.
The governance training programme will be delivered by Te Whare Hukahuka - a social enterprise which works with iwi organisations, land trusts, and Maori community trusts across New Zealand.
Co-founder Shay Wright said investing in an organisation's leadership capabilities was a critical way to ensure their business or social initiatives thrived.
"Often Maori organisations don't focus on funding the most strategic things needed to grow.
"Most are asset rich but cash poor and so don't have the resources to enable the social impact they wish to make," he said.
Mr Wright said often honing the leadership and strategic skills were near the bottom of the priority list due to other whanau needs that competed for their limited resources.
"BayTrust's funding will make a huge difference in providing access to the skills and support they need to grow."
Over the past five years Te Whare Hukahuka has worked with 105 Maori organisations and 650 individual Maori community leaders nationwide. This new funding would enable governance training to be delivered to roughly 60 Maori leaders from five Bay of Plenty-based community enterprises which have yet to be chosen.
"We are heartened to see the recognition and shared belief in our mission. We're excited because this grant means we can extend our impact even further in the Bay of Plenty," Mr Wright said.
Te Whare Hukahuka was originally a unit of The Icehouse business growth hub founded by the International Centre of Entrepreneurship Foundation. It's now a stand-alone entity which aspires to improve the lives of 10 million indigenous people.
"By starting exclusively with Maori organisations we are building models based on indigenous principles that we can then share with other indigenous leaders in other parts of the world," Mr Wright said.
Te Whare Hukahuka also plans to bring its new youth governance programme called Ka Eke Poutama to the Bay of Plenty in 2018 to help support the next generation of Maori leaders.
"The first graduating cohort of 45 young Maori leaders now hold 63 governance and advisory roles between them. We are now gearing up to launch the programme in the Bay of Plenty and other regions next year."
BayTrust chief executive Alastair Rhodes said Maori featured near the bottom of most well-being indicators but there were plenty of opportunities to turn the situation around.
"There is a duty upon us all to help and the work Te Whare Hukahuka are doing can make a significant difference to individual lives and the overall well-being of our communities.
"Strengthened Maori organisations can provide more employment opportunities, reinvest in social, cultural and environmental initiatives, and re-ignite a sense of pride and opportunity," he said.
"BayTrust wants to help promote a culture of success and foster an enterprising spirit among our local Maori organisations. We believe Te Whare Hukahuka can help them achieve that, and we're pleased to be able to support their efforts through this grant."