Māori business gets a masters degree

The value of the Māori economy was estimated at $36.9b in 2010. Current projections indicate it has the potential to grow New Zealand’s GDP by $12b extra per annum up to 2060, creating an additional 150,000 jobs [1]. The economic development of New Zealand is tied strongly to the development of the Māori economy and vice versa, although the growth potential of the Māori economy is greater [2].

The Master of Māori and Indigenous Business is a new national postgraduate programme currently being developed to equip Māori and those involved in Māori and Indigenous business for senior leadership roles. Graduates will contribute to the burgeoning Māori economy and be able to stimulate local, national and international business growth.

The cross-institution project team includes committed and passionate senior Māori academics and advisers, operating under the leadership of the New Zealand Business Deans’ Council (NZBDC). The project’s national collaboration is enabling development of a quality degree that no single institution would be able to deliver alone. However, utilising the advantage of location, a core team from the University of Auckland Business School, Te Ara Poutama AUT University and Massey University School of Management have been working on behalf of the other universities to develop a viable programme.

Much of the past year has been spent consulting with stakeholders. These include iwi, hapū and whanau, community and corporate leaders, and senior Māori academics. Our stakeholders have provided invaluable feedback and recommendations. As an example, below is a list of specific characteristics graduates should have on completing the degree:

“Entrepreneurship and creativity – ‘Free Thinking’”
”How to own the whole chain at all levels from Gate to Market“
“The machinery of Government and political savvy”
“Empowering and enabling processes for making good decisions”

These and other detailed recommendations have informed the development of a relevant, current and meaningful programme. At this point in the project we’ve developed the structure for the entire programme as well as a graduate profile, course outlines, teaching methods and timetabling. We’re currently liaising with all New Zealand universities to ratify these developments, and undergoing the CUAP accreditation process.

From our consultation there is evidently widespread interest in the degree amongst the Maori business community. We’re looking forward to seeing how the degree will impact both the community and the economy more widely as we prepare to roll it out within the next 24 months.


[1] G. Nana, “Māori Economy – A response to the GFC.” 2 August 2012. http://www.berl.co.nz/assets/Economic-Insights/Economic-Development/Maori-Economy/GN-presentation-to-AC-and-IMSB-020812.pdf
[2] Robin Hapi – Chair of BERL, TEC Commissioner, Deputy Chair Te Wānanga o Raukawa Council, former Chair of Aotearoa Fisheries and Chair of Sealords – pers comm.


Petteena McOnie is the Project Manager for the Master of Māori and Indigenous Business programme. She has managed the delivery of large scale, high profile, national and international conferences and events. For five years, Petteena managed the design and delivery of the award winning certification programme relating to the Resource Management Act (RMA) to both Māori and non-Māori on behalf of the Ministry for the Environment. She is passionate about giving people opportunities to succeed.



Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *