19 May 2015

New Māori business masters unveiled

5:57 am on 19 May 2015

A new Māori business masters programme is being planned for universities around the country.

The University of Auckland Epsom campus.

The University of Auckland Epsom campus. Photo: 123RF

University of Auckland Business School senior lecturer Chellie Spiller said consultation was underway to get the programme ready for launch, which will see universities co-deliver the programme titled the Masters of Māori and Indigenous business.

She said courses taught would focus on core areas of business but be infused with a kaupapa Māori focus.

Dr Spiller said the tertiary educators were ready to collaborate and deliver a programme at a post-graduate level.

"At the moment we've had a core working party for the past 18 months that's comprised of the University of Auckland, AUT University and Massey. It's been expanded.

"We have a commitment from Otago, and also from Victoria and the others: Lincoln, Canterbury‎ and Waikato have expressed interest.

"The timing is slightly different for each of the universities as to when they'll be able to come and sit with us at the table, but the place mats are there. Everything's ready to go."

She said industry feedback had been a sense of relief and excitement.

"I think it's really exciting because it's not only for ourselves, but what it really represents is that people right across the country from all different iwi, hapū, whānau can come together, and share nationally around topics that are of interest to them, and then we will really cross-pollinate our expertise, our understanding."

She said the programme would strengthen and grow Māori management, leadership and governance capabilities for the greater good of all society.

Dr Spiller said the Māori economy was a flourishing sector of the New Zealand economy and worth about $46 billion.

"When I first started at the business school, some people would look at me with a raised eyebrow and go 'well, there isn't such a thing as a Māori business, there is only business'. Well, it's not true. There is such a thing as Māori business, and we recognise that.

"It's really important there is a space where Māori, Pacific and other indigenous people can come together, and discuss some of the tensions, and unique aspects, of what it means to be committed to a kaupapa Māori way of being in the world that honours our way of doing business"

She said the corporate world could benefit from the addition of Māori values, in particular an adoption of humility, letting go of egos, and raising the mana of all involved.