Establishing how researchers can support business leaders and entrepreneurs to economically empower communities is the goal for a symposium to be held at Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology's Mokoia campus today .

Te Hononga – The Connection: Indigenous Business Research symposium is the result of
collaboration between Ngā Pae o Te Māramatanga New Zealand's Māori Centre of Research Excellence, Te Au Rangahau at Massey Business School, GHA Chartered Accountants and Management Consultants and Toi Ohomai.

The symposium will precede the 9th annual World Indigenous Business Forum (WIBF), which is set to open in Rotorua next week.

Toi Ohomai Strategic Partnerships and Māori Success executive director Ana Morrison says the decision to hold the WIBF in Rotorua presented the perfect opportunity to bring academics and researchers together with the business world.

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"Toi Ohomai are delighted to host the symposium ahead of the WIBF, and bring the dialogue between academic and business through leaders to the Rotorua community and our learners.

"During the symposium, participants will be talking about how to build strong, relevant connections between the business world and researcher community. The big themes will be centred around how research is perceived by business and what do business need from the research community.

"Participants will also talk about how indigenous peoples, globally connect as academics, businesses and entrepreneurs and how to better utilise those indigenous connections to contribute to prosperity for local and indigenous communities.

"We are looking forward to being able to support the kaupapa of the WIBF."

Morrison will host the symposium with University of Auckland Dr Kiri Dell and Massey Business School Te Au Rangahau co-director Dr Jason Mika.

They will be joined by a suite of panellists including postdoctoral research follow Dr Dara Kelly, who is from the Leq'á:mel First Nation, Centre for Māori Indigenous Governance at University of Waikato director Dr Robert Joseph and AUT University senior lecturer Dr Ella Henry, and Professor Stephen Cornell of the University of Arizona's Native Nations Institute.

The symposium will be hosted at the Tangatarua Marae on the Mokoia campus and a social event will follow at the GHA Centre on Fenton St in Rotorua.


More information
• The 9th annual World Indigenous Business forum is being co-ordinated by Te Ohu Whai Ao Trust. It is expected that 1000 business leaders from around the world will attend.

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• It is the first time that New Zealand has hosted the forum. The first WIBF was held in New York in 2010 by the Indigenous Leadership Development Institute in Canada.