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‘Race based’ procurement – enough is enough!

‘Race based’ procurement – enough is enough!

The notion that striving for diversity in supply chains is ‘race-based’ purchasing or creates an uneven playing field is not just misleading; it obscures the stark reality of the current system - a system that inherently favours certain groups while marginalising Māori and Pasifika businesses.

We're here to set the record straight: True supplier diversity isn't about preferential treatment; it's about correcting a deeply ingrained imbalance and building a fair, inclusive economic landscape.

At the heart of supplier diversity is a simple, non-negotiable principle: fairness. Yet, what we often see is a blatant disregard for this principle, leaving Māori and Pasifika businesses not just on the sidelines but completely out of the game.

It’s high time we confronted the harsh realities.

- 10 year closed panels with NO Māori and/or Pasifika businesses on the panel.

- Closed tenders where NO Māori and/or Pasifika businesses are invited to even participate.

- New project procurement systems that are set up with ‘known suppliers’, none of which are Māori and/or Pasifika businesses.

- Sourcing suppliers through existing relationships, where no businesses are Māori and/or Pasifika.

- Doing no market scanning for new suppliers.

- Having entire departments spend no money with Māori and/or Pasifika businesses, ever.

The reality that there are Government targets to encourage procurement from Māori businesses should speak volumes! The fact that these targets are set well below the representation of Māori in the population – and most organisations still fail to meet them – is a clear testament to the systemic barriers and widespread neglect facing Māori businesses in our economy.

Supplier diversity isn't about tokenism or handing out contracts indiscriminately to Māori and Pasifika businesses. This is about reflecting the makeup of our society in our economic activities. Māori and Pasifika people make up a quarter of our population, a figure set to rise to 35% by 2043. Ignoring this reality in procurement is not just unfair – it's economic sabotage against a significant portion of our community.

This is not about race-based handouts, this is about fairness!

Enough is enough!

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