Business · 26 May 2021

Southern Māori Businesses Invited To Enter Biennial Awards

News Desk

News Desk

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Māori businesses in Otago, Southland and the Queenstown Lakes are being invited to enter a prestigious awards event that celebrates resilience, collaboration and business success.

Te Kupeka Umaka Māori ki Araiteuru (KUMA), the Māori business network for the Otago/Southland region, has today opened entries to the biennial KUMA Māori Business Awards.

Businesses that identify as Māori are eligible to enter. The categories for this year’s event are: Collaboration & Innovation, Employment & Growth, Resilience & Wellbeing and Emerging Enterprise (includes Rangatahi). The supreme winner will be awarded the Suzanne Spencer Tohu Maumahara Business Award.

Suzanne was highly regarded as one of the founding members of KUMA. This Award is an acknowledgement of her significant contribution to Māori ki Araiteuru and her enduring legacy.

After a year when people around the globe were asked to isolate, for many the past 12 months has provided opportunity to reinterpret that message, says KUMA Board co-Chair Claire Porima.

“What I have seen is the demonstration of kaupapa Māori entrepreneurship. We have focused on valuing our whānau connections, supporting each other personally and professionally, and creating innovative ways to strengthen our businesses. This is whakawhanaungatanga in action, one of our key values at KUMA. Our vision is captured in the whakatauki ‘Kia tipua tahi ai’, Let us grow together.”

An independent judging panel will select finalists, who will be acknowledged on the night alongside the category winners. Judges are: Experienced management consultant Jeffrey Broughton; Aimee Kaio, Rūnanga Engagement Manager in the Regional Investment Fund team of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu; and Karen Roos, Māori Enterprise Advisor from Te Puni Kōkiri.

The theme for this year’s awards is Manawaroa (resilience) and Kotahitanga (collaboration/oneness). The Awards dinner will take place at Elmwood Gardens in Invercargill, on July 2. Tickets are $100+GST for non-KUMA members, $60+GST for members and $500+GST for a table of 10. Entertainment and a guest speaker will be announced soon.

Entries close on Thursday, June 17. Entry forms can be downloaded here and are to be submitted to [email protected]