3 Dec 2020

New government procurement target to support Māori economy post-Covid

5:51 pm on 3 December 2020

The government has set a new 5 percent procurement target for Māori businesses in a bid to support the Māori economy post Covid-19.

Labour MP Willie Jackson

Māori Development Minister Willie Jackson. Photo: ©VNP / Phil Smith

The aim is to encourage public service agencies to spend 5 percent of the approximately $42 billion it uses annually on goods and services through Māori businesses.

Māori Development Minister Willie Jackson said it would encourage public service agencies to cast their net wider when awarding contracts, and agencies would be monitored to ensure they were meeting the target.

"They are obliged to reflect on what they're doing, and we're actually asking for reports along the way in terms of what's happening, and they'll be monitored by MBIE and TPK," he said.

"This is all new but we want to work with the different agencies and it's not about pulling out the big stick, at the moment we've got Māori businesses that are crying out for support, who are really rapt with what we're doing."

He said indigenous procurement was working successfully overseas.

"Indigenous procurement is already successful internationally. In Australia the targets resulted in contracts with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses increasing from $6 million to almost $2 billion in just four years," he said.

"This kaupapa will give our small and medium enterprises the opportunity to participate in the economy."

Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash said the new target would further improve cash flow to Māori businesses and help diversify the customer base for Māori businesses.

"By accessing more of the governments annual procurement spend, Māori business owners and staff will benefit from greater training and employment opportunities, economic resilience and business growth," he said.

"Māori businesses have a strong presence in the primary sector and tourism, in accommodation and the food industry, the retail sector and in the trades. This policy has the potential to further assist with kick-starting of economic activity into other sectors."

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