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Karen Coutts

Wellington City Council signalled its commitment last year to something that the Wellington Forum has encouraged for the past two years: the value of being a bi-lingually based city.

For me, that is only opening a crack in the door. The key value the sleeping giant (Māori economy) brings – is a values-based economy. Watch Māori TV; look at Māori business commentary; work with Māori business; work with whānau, hapū, iwi and hapori Māori: the same kōrero comes every time.

Māori talk about using a quadruple bottom line for business: good business means cultural values, social benefit and inclusion, and sustainable use of environment resources as the basis of an enduring, strong business model giving solid returns. All areas of business bring equal benefit to the community and business-owners and maintain a good economic return. Most important of all, what will be passed onto future generations? Business returns are always judged for what will be left for the generations to come: they are the most important group to benefit from what we do now.

This is an opportunity for non-Māori to see the value of the business model and everyone to get into the waka together on using this model, ie. Māori and non-Māori alike to progress the economic basis of this region with an eye to sustainable long-term beneficial returns.  

Think about Whale-watch Kaikōura and you will see how this business model works!

Wellington City has three mana whenua that are engaged in their economic development and there are many Māori entrepreneurs here that are leading the way in their business sector. Let’s get on with this together!

Karen Coutts

Ngāi Tahu me Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki

Kaiwhakahaere Ngāi Tahu ki Te Whanganui-a-Tara taurahere rōpū

Let’s get on with the opportunity – Māori economic development



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