Ambitious Maori economic growth targets have today been unveiled at the He kai kei aku ringa - E RERE Maori economy conference in Rotorua.

He kai kei aku ringa is the Crown-Maori Economic Growth Partnership and national Maori economic development strategy.

The partnership provides vision for a productive, innovative, export-oriented Maori economy, driven by whanau.

New targets were set at this morning's meeting following a five-year refresh of the strategy.

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By 2021 they aim to increase Maori median income by 20 per cent, reduce Maori unemployment to 7.5 per cent, increase the number of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by 30 per cent, increase Maori exports by 9 per cent per annum and improve NCEA Level 2 and NZQ Level 4 attainment by Maori.

Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges launched the Maori Economy Investor Guide at He kai kei aku ringa. Photo/Ben Fraser
Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges launched the Maori Economy Investor Guide at He kai kei aku ringa. Photo/Ben Fraser

"Annual growth is expected to average around 3 per cent over the next five years," Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges said.

"This means more jobs and higher incomes. With a young and growing population, Maori stand to gain from, if not lead, our economic growth."

An important focus will be placed on key sectors such as infrastructure, construction, tourism, digital/ICT, business services, health and education.

"These are the job generators for the next few years," he said.

"We also need to emphasise regional growth, and transitioning our young people from education to the work force."

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ROTORUA DAILY POST
26 Jun, 2017 1:53pm
3 minutes to read
Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell announced a new Maori Innovation Fund at He kai kei aku ringa. Photo/Ben Fraser
Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell announced a new Maori Innovation Fund at He kai kei aku ringa. Photo/Ben Fraser

Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell said it was a turning point for He kai kei aku ringa.

"There's been a lot of work done to ensure it's relevant, ambitious and the outcomes are measurable," he said.

"It's the culmination of reflecting on the past five years of progress, a refreshed strategy, a refreshed board driving the strategy, and a lot of feedback from Maori.

"There are now measurable outcomes around reducing unemployment, especially youth unemployment, growing SMEs, developing land assets and capability much faster, engaging rangitahi in their economic aspirations, and growing strong regions, where many Maori live."

As part of He kai kei aku ringa, Mr Flavell and Mr Bridges announced a $1.5 million package of initiatives to boost Maori enterprise growth.

The package includes a Maori Founder Accelerator in conjunction with Callaghan Innovation, a SME development programme, a focus on building rangitahi enterprise skills and a focus on data that will support decision making.

Mr Flavell also announced the opening of another round of Te Punaha Hiringa: Maori Innovation Fund - Commercial Advisors Scheme and Mr Bridges launched the Maori Economy Investor Guide to help investors understand the Maori economy, culture and people.

Retail manager at Rotorua business Puawai Jade Sam Rigney said she hadn't seen many other small Maori businesses around and the scheme would be beneficial for everyone.

"I think if you've got Maori owners and employers it just seals the deal as a local store.

"We are a rich Maori cultural town, it's quite important we use that."

Miss Rigney said she had seen the unemployment rate for Maori people reducing.

"If this scheme can continue that, if they can help the city grow more it will help everyone."