A tribal leader in Te Waipounamu says a cautious and conservative approach to business and kaupapa Maori values are helping drive commercial success among iwi.
Sir Mark Solomon of Ngai Tahu recently delivered his message to the New Zealand Business and Parliament Trust.
Sir Mark told an audience that Maori were the first small enterprise owners in New Zealand, trading with other iwi by, for example, supplying their inland cousins with kaimoana in exchange for berries, fruits and eel.
He went on to say it would be a mistake to think successful business is something new to Maori, or that Treaty settlements have created the Maori economy.
Sir Mark said Maori do business differently because they have an eye for the future - their future generations. They are not about quick-fix investment returns, but instead creating better lives for whanau.
He said Maoridom needs business leaders who are as confident and comfortable on the global corporate stage as they are on the marae.