The co-founder of a procurement service for Māori and Pasifika firms says New Zealand is a late adopter in giving minority businesses a chance to participate in big-spending projects.
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Amotai formerly knows as He Waka Eke Noa grew out of Auckland Council’s Southern Initiative.
Over the past year, it has helped create $45 million of contracts for registered businesses.
Alex Hawea says it’s a way buyers can increase supplier diversity, tap into new sources of skills and labour, and spend their money on a way they know it will get recirculated into the community rather than the profits disappearing overseas.
"It's been happing since the 1960s as a tool for economic parity for indigenous and minority communities in the United States and then picked up all around the world - Canada, China, South Africa, the UK, and most recently over in Australia where they've seen massive growth for our indigenous whanaunga over the ditch," he says.
The service has launched a new digital platform at Amotai.nz to make it easier for buyers to find and engage with Māori and Pasifika firms.