Around 100,000 more Māori are in the workforce now than eight years ago, according to a new report from Business and Economic Research with Te Pūtea Matua the Reserve Bank.
Te Ōhanga Māori 2018, released this morning, showed Māori are increasingly involved in business activities, have a diverse asset base and a growing workforce with more skills.
The Māori economy has been put at $68.7 billion, up on the previously estimated $42.6b.
Traci Houpapa, Federation of Māori Authorities chairperson, said: "Māori are a young population and growing fast. There are over 100,000 more Māori in the workforce today than there were eight years ago. We are a significant part of the current and future workforce of Aotearoa."
Around 300,000 Māori now work in Aotearoa's workforce, with 74,000 of them in high-skill jobs.
Ganesh Nana of BERL said the report's date was 2018 to align with Census data but there had been delays with due to Covid.
The report said: "The financial value of assets underpinning Te Ōhanga Māori in 2018 is estimated at $68.7b. This compares with an estimated $42.6b in 2013."
The previous report came out in 2015.
"Of this total, nearly $21b resides within Māori trusts, incorporations and entities, with the majority or $14b in the natural resource-based sectors. Within this category, sheep and beef farming continues to dominate Māori assets in the agriculture sector, although assets in horticulture including kiwifruit are growing in significance," the report said.
"Assets in the fishing industry total $2.4b, while just under $1b are in forestry sector assets. There are also a considerable quantity of assets held by Māori entities in property (industrial, commercial, and residential), totalling $4.8," it said.
"Nevertheless, the assets of the businesses of more than 9900 Māori employers continue to make up the bulk of this asset base. In 2018, this component totalled $39.1b, up from the $23.4b in assets of the businesses of 6800 Māori employers in 2013. These businesses each have an average $4m in assets, and 14 employees," BERL's report said.
Hillmare Schulze, BERL chief economist, said Māori were still key players in the more traditional primary sector areas of the economy "but the asset base is increasingly diversified".
Any description of the Māori economy needed to go beyond Te Tiriti settlements, she said.
"Many businesses and trusts existed before the beginning of the settlement processes, producing goods and delivering services. Māori employers, entrepreneurs and employees are in every industry and every sector, generating wealth and wellbeing," she said.
Adrian Orr, Reserve Bank Governor, said the BERL report was written before the pandemic but gave a snapshot of the Māori economy just before the outbreak.
Te Tiriti settlements to date were about $2.2b in cash and assets transferred from the Crown during the last quarter-century.
"The assets and businesses of Māori employers are spread broadly across many sectors, including the primary industries, as well as manufacturing and service sectors. Assets in the real estate and property services sector total over $8.2b, with another $7.5b in agriculture, forestry, and fishing. In the latter category, forestry assets dominate at $3b with $1.6b in dairy farming," BERL found.
A considerable proportion of business assets of Māori employers are noticeably in manufacturing, transport, finance, construction, professional services, and trade and accommodation sectors, it said.
Construction, transport, professional services, and trade and accommodation are characterised by smaller businesses with self-financed ownership. These include
builders, plumbers, electricians, drivers, lawyers, accountants and other business
consultancy services, along with hospitality establishments. While there will be some larger enterprises in these sectors, many will be much smaller than the overall average of an approximately 14 employee business with $4 million in assets, BERL found.
The Māori population is much younger than the rest: 57 per cent are under 30. This feature and the associated higher growth in the number of Māori flowed through to dramatic contrasts in population, workforce and employment growth from 2013 to 2018.