A two-day national conference which boasts more than 100 of the best minds in Maori business begins in Tauranga tonight.

Te Hekenga III is the third instalment of the National Maori Business Networks and Maori Enterprises Conference, which will host up to 200 people.

Launching tonight, the conference includes speakers such as Minister for Maori Development Nanaia Mahuta and Minister for Regional Development Shane Jones.

Mana Taiao Events is hosting the biennial event in association with Tauranga Maori Business Network, which initially came up with the idea for the gathering in 2012.


Buddy Mikaere is coordinating the national Maori business conference and said the gathering would provide a forum for Maori small to medium enterprises, and those wishing to engage with them.

He said it would also include a workshop environment where attendees can receive expert advice and hear from success stories.

There will be 17 speakers featuring at the two-day conference, including business and social entrepreneur Tenby Powell, musician and business owner Brad Kora, Kiwi Digital chief executive Steven Renata and business strategist, coach and consultant Kim Hill.

Ian Taylor from Animation Research - the brains behind the America's Cup animation - and John Barrett who founded Kapiti Island Nature Tours catering to the cruise ship market also feature.

Te Hekenga
The two-day conference will be held on February 15 and 16 at Trinity Wharf, Dive Cres, Tauranga. More information can be found at www.tehekenga.co.nz