More than half of all Maori businesses are in the Bay of Plenty and Waikato regions, a Statistics New Zealand report shows. Many involve rental, hiring and real estate services.
The study is part of Tatauranga Umanga Maori, a long-term project analysing Maori authorities and businesses.
A Statistics New Zealand spokesperson said the Maori connection to the land was evident, with many of the industries represented being in rental, hiring and real estate services.
International and Performance Statistics manager Jason Attewell said almost 90 percent of Maori authorities were in the North Island, and that their distribution was in stark contrast to other New Zealand businesses.
Mr Attewell said only one in 20 businesses owned by Maori were in Auckland, compared with almost one in three for all other businesses.
Most Maori businesses were in rural areas, reflecting the distribution of iwi throughout Aotearoa.
A major point of difference between Maori authorities and other commercial enterprises was their goal was often centred on preserving the asset for future generations, he said.