New announcement. Learn more


Buying from Māori businesses is good for the ‘Buyer’

When a large public or private organisation intentionally spends money with a Māori and/or Pasifika business (supplier diversity) it helps grow those businesses which has enormous flow on effects (read more about the triple ripple effect).

It has the power to boost the Māori and Pasifika economies and is good for Aotearoa as a whole. What is often overlooked are the benefits for the Buyer. There can be direct benefits to the procuring organisations that buy from Māori and Pasifika businesses.

In this article we go over some of the supplier diversity benefits for government agencies, local councils, non-Māori/pasifika corporate organisations and other procuring organisations that buy from Māori and Pasifika businesses. The reality is that it can:

  • Help to attract and retain talented staff

  • Improve your team culture through building a bigger sense of purpose

  • Set companies apart as industry leaders

  • Improve brand image

Competitive advantage

All businesses want to set themselves apart from their competitors. With more and more contracts specifically asking for supplier diversity (especially in public sector purchasing), doing this well can help create competitive advantages and ultimately lead to maintaining high-value clients and winning more work.

Companies that build long lasting, quality relationships with Māori and Pasifika businesses will position themselves at the front of the pack for these contracts. Here in Aotearoa, we have already seen organisations lose contracts because of their lack of supplier diversity.

Build better relationships with Māori

Many organisations have a desire to build better relationships with Iwi, Māori land trusts and other Māori communities. Supplier diversity is a great way to do this by working collaboratively to look for ways to include Māori businesses in supply chains. Many Iwi will be involved in government projects that take place in their rohe (region) and will rightly input into the project. This is a great way to show commitment to quality Māori outcomes.

It’s good for your brand

Many organisayions initially implement supplier diversity initiatives as part of their corporate social responsibility programmes. Positive messaging about supplier diversity can be used effectively when woven into advertising and marketing to support a positive brand image and support revenue growth.

Drawcard for socially conscious and diverse employees

More and more employees want to work for organisations that have a strong purpose and values that align to theirs. They want to know that the Māori kupu used as company values and the company focus on diversity isn’t just for show and that there is action being taken. Supplier Diversity is a practical way your organisation can do this. Showing that your organisation creates positive impact will be a drawcard for employees that want their work to generate wider reverberations.

Bring in agile, innovation and diverse perspectives.

Tapping into diverse perspectives can stimulate new approaches and solutions, breakthrough technology and bring disruptive businesses/products to market. Rather than relying on one-dimensional insights from less-diverse supply chains, working with a variety of suppliers opens the door to fresh and innovative thinking. The He Manukura - Insights from Māori frontier firms report shows that Māori authorities and SMEs are more likely to export and have higher rates of innovation and R&D, than other New Zealand firms. Many Māori and Pasifika businesses tend to be small enterprises that are nimbler and more innovative than larger suppliers.

Aligning to the workforce and customer base of tomorrow

With the growth of the Māori and Pasifika population and economies, there is recognition that these groups will be increasingly prominent market players.

Statistics NZ projections show that by 2043 Māori will have a population of up to 1.35 million whilst Pasifika will have a population of up to 730,000. Representing up to 34% of Aotearoa’s total population. They are the labour force, tax and customer base of the future. This means that organisations need to inherently understand and value Māori and Pasifika in order to employ, retain and engage with these population groups.

But it's not just individual spending that is of interest. There is increasing commercial significance of Iwi, Treaty Settlement Entities, Land Trusts and other Māori commercial entities. Companies may wish to position themselves early for this customer segment and have a supply chain that will represent the population of Aotearoa that aligns with them.


So, in short, not only is supplier diversity good for Māori and Pasifika businesses and Aotearoa as a whole but it could actually have some tangible outcomes for organisations that embed supplier diversity as well.