New announcement. Learn more


5 small ways to support supplier diversity

The goal of supplier diversity is to have more money being spent with Māori and Pasifika businesses. Naturally, the biggest thing organisations can do for supplier diversity is to increase their spend with Māori and Pasifika businesses. That's pretty obvious.

Ultimately you want to be working towards increasing and measuring your total spend with diverse suppliers, building your internal teams supplier diversity capability and embedding your commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

But there are lots of additional small wins and ways supplier diversity can be supported as organisations work towards increasing these bigger goals.

Tell Māori and Pasifika business success stories

Sing the praises of Māori and Pasifika businesses that have done work with your organisation. By showcasing Māori and Pasifika business success, you not only boost the credibility and reputation of these businesses but also showcase your organisations’ supplier diversity capability and efforts. It’s a win-win. Share these success stories in your internal newsletters, on your website, through case studies.

Celebrate procurement professionals that implement supplier diversity

Procurement professionals are often given the responsibilities of supplier diversity which can seem like an addition to their already busy jobs. Some that are purpose driven and understand the impact will embrace this with open arms and will be compelled to do more to embed supplier diversity. These staff should be celebrated! This could be as simple as recognising them at a team meeting for their efforts, creating an internal award or nominating them for industry awards.

Meet with Māori and Pasifika businesses

It may seem pretty obvious but getting out and meeting potential suppliers will give you a really great understanding of the businesses capability and capacity to take on work with your organisation. Relationships and kanohi ki te kanohi (face to face) interactions are so important in creating good rapport and letting businesses know that there are humans that care behind all the pages of tender documents.

Work on your cultural competency

Although it would be great if you were fluent in Māori and Pasifika languages, that's not achieved quickly. But learning how to pronounce words right, is much faster and still has impact. Pronouncing people's names and business names correctly goes a long way in making Māori and Pasifika businesses feel valued (and it's just nice to not butcher someone's name). Even giving it a go and getting it wrong is better than not trying at all. Invest in cultural competency training for your team and make resources available for learning basic phrases and proper pronunciation. Encourage staff to incorporate Māori greetings and farewells into their daily interactions.

However, cultural competency extends beyond language. It's about understanding and respecting cultural values and traditions. Be aware of why or how certain practices might differ for Māori businesses, as these differences often relate back to certain tikanga (customs). Understanding these cultural nuances will help in building stronger, more respectful relationships with Māori and Pasifika businesses.

Bring it up in meetings

Ask the team how they’re progressing with supplier diversity. Make it a standing agenda item in your regular team meetings to discuss supplier diversity initiatives, challenges, and successes. Encourage open dialogue and idea-sharing on how to better support Māori and Pasifika businesses. This keeps the topic top of mind and signals to your team that supplier diversity is a priority. Regularly review your progress towards your supplier diversity goals and celebrate the small wins along the way to maintain momentum and motivation.

Supporting supplier diversity doesn’t always require grand gestures. Small, consistent actions can make a significant difference. By sharing success stories, celebrating procurement champions, building relationships, enhancing cultural competency, and keeping the conversation alive in meetings, organisations can create a more inclusive and equitable business environment.