12 Jul 2012

Business NZ and FOMA to work more closely

8:00 am on 12 July 2012

Two business lobby groups intend to work more closely.

Business New Zealand and the Federation of Maori Authorities signed an agreement in Wellington on Wednesday.

The Memorandum of Understanding will see both parties work more formally and closely together.

Business New Zealand chief executive Phil O'Reilly says Maori business has flown under the radar and has failed to attract the attention it deserves.

He says far too little attention has been paid to the dynamism, growth, excitement and possibilities of the Maori economy.

Mr O'Reilly says the key will be to work out what is different about Maori businesses and what they do the same as other businesses.

He says, for example, the way Maori businesses think about competitive issues, risk, benefit and the way they interact with particular New Zealand statutes and laws is often the same as other businesses.

"But what's different is that they often think in a much, much more multi-generational fashion than the average non-Maori business. They have different shareholder arrangements and different stakeholder arrangements".

FOMA chief executive Te Horipo Karaitiana says having the largest Maori business network join forces with New Zealand's largest business network will be of mutual benefit.

He says the federation represents more than 140 Maori businesses with a combined asset base of $8 billion, and there are thousand of businesses associated with Business New Zealand.

Mr Karaitiana says both organisations have worked successfully together in the past, and the Memorandum of Understanding will result in a more formal partnership.