NZME's Astley Nathan, who has recently started his own te reo Māori journey, is on a mission to showcase the unique kaupapa or principles that are integral to Māori businesses. In part 3 of this series, Astley visits North Drill, one of Northland's rising stars.
Bronson and Ida-Jean Murray want to raise the bar for Maori in business.
And they are doing a pretty good job of it with North Drill, now the biggest underground drilling company in Northland.
"I think the bar needs to be lifted, we should be looking to own businesses, own streets if we want … we've set the bar so low that it actually becomes a success just to get a job," says Bronson.
After starting out a few years ago with just one truck and a drill, the company now employs more than 40 staff and with a stunning 250 per cent growth rate has made the Deloitte Fast 50 list of fast rising companies for the last three years. This year the firm was the supreme winner at the Te Taitokerau Maori Business Awards.
"Our purpose or our goal is to improve the wealth and wellbeing of our people," says Bronson, a former professional super rugby player.
"The business is just the vehicle to do that. A lot of people might look at a business and say 'how do we improve that business? How we look at it is how do we improve our people?' "
Bronson and Ida's emphasis on the manaaki (support) of their staff underpins this ethos. North Drill has a big focus on employing unemployed or under-skilled workers and has invested in housing for staff.
The Murrays believe in second chances and in opportunities for people that are prepared to put in the hard yards.
"While you are here, do your mahi and use us as a stepping-stone but when it's time to branch out we will help you do that," says Ida.
"Our families have always worked hard for whatever they got ... it just comes naturally … that's just what you do."
Ida and Bronson both believe in growing strong mindsets for themselves and the staff that work for North Drill - bringing in experts to teach financial literacy and other learnings.
"It's in our blood to contribute, around the marae or wherever but we have always been brought up to contribute back to our people," says Bronson.