Immerse yourself in the world of innovative pakihi Māori with this inspirational video. It spotlights three of our world-leading Māori customers: AgriSea NZ Seaweed Ltd, Envico Technologies, and WoolAid. Their compelling stories vividly demonstrate the significant impact pakihi Māori are making across various fields.

Pakihi Māori are not just keeping pace; they're leading the way, growing faster, innovating more, and investing more in R&D than other Aotearoa New Zealand businesses. The Māori economy is valued at over $70bn and growing between 5% and 10% each year, and unique, cutting-edge companies like these play a big part in that success.

We trust these inspiring stories will guide and motivate you on your journey as an innovator or entrepreneur.

[Narration in te reo Māori]

I Aotearoa nei he tirohanga motuhake tēnei e arataki ana i o mātou kaiauaha ki te hanga pakihi e rerekē ana ngā whakahaerenga.

He pakihi kei te rāngai e hou mai ana neke atu i te whitu tekau piriona tāra ki te ōhanga o Aotearoa.

[Tane Bradley]

Kaitiakitanga, it’s not an end point or it’s not a tick on the box, it’s not a certificate. What we hope to do is that people can see in the way which we act, in the way which we do our business, in the way which we look after our environment, you know, encompasses all those things.

[Lucas Smith]

A lot of the original influences stem from the landscape, growing up in these mountains, trying to pass on the same way you found it. And for me, it’s not littered with plastic bandages.

[Cameron Baker]

There’s an opportunity to reflect and understand how we can work better with nature to still benefit, thrive, but in a way that is more culturally sensitive. Because there’s been generations that have lived and thrived in this environment before.

[Clare Bradley]

AgriSea is a Māori owned intergenerational seaweed innovation company.

[Tane Bradley]

AgriSea came about from my mom and her partner Keith, going out Woofing. And it was there, on farm, that they discovered the magic and the benefits that seaweed can have. They came home and started brewing, and understanding and discovering all of our wonderful, beautiful New Zealand seaweeds. And Clare and I were blessed to be asked to help carry on that legacy. And help build off their foundations.

[Clare Bradley]

We take seaweed that washes up on our shores and create seaweed products that are used in farming and food production for human nutrition, for biomaterial, and have a zero-waste circular economy.

[Lucas Smith]

We make merino wool bandages from the finest merino wool grown in around this beautiful area. When I started WoolAid, I wanted to make a product that supports the landscape. It’s a very simple fix of- well, nature provides this amazing material, and the only option was plastic. So, for us it’s giving the option to not only heal better but to heal the rest of this place.
I thought someone would have done this before, it just didn’t appear that this could be the world’s first.

[Cameron Baker]

When we started this journey at Envico, we use drones to help eradicate pests on remote islands all around the world. What we quickly realised was that it was one piece of the puzzle. How do we know that the pests are there in the first place, that this is the correct tool? So, what we did is we developed an AI technology with thermal cameras to go and fly over areas and monitor these sites. That developed other technologies, if there is a pest in that area, can we go and invent another tool that helps solve a problem?

We went on from that journey and elaborated ‘ok well now that we’ve got the pests gone, what is the next step?’, and the next step was regenerating the habitat, regenerating forests. So, we developed seed pods. The seed pods technology can reduce the cost of planting a native tree from 10 dollars down to 10 cents. We can then accompany that with a drone that can increase the scale of somebody manually planting, say, 2 hectares a day up to 1000 hectares a day.

[Clare Bradley]

That sort of IP development around experimentation with New Zealand seaweed species, you know, took us a long time to try and even understand what that was and what that meant. And actually, it was working with Callaghan has enabled us to understand and be able to articulate what our intellectual property is, and able to understand how to protect the knowledge that we’ve built up and also how to share it in a way that other people can utilise it. And so that’s that mahi tahi, that collaboration.

[Lucas Smith]

The idea began in a notebook, it’s just an iteration of scribblings. Taking it from the notebook and into something you can touch and more stack up in a medical grade. It’s no small feat. The first responsibility I felt was to get it into a space to be able to ask Callaghan for a, kind of, precise ask. And that for us it’s been the biodegradation claim, along with a safety scientific claim as well.

That’s great having research being done here in New Zealand, that’s on-going. So for us, it shows WoolAid biodegrades within four months, which is really exciting, compared to plastic which- well just gets smaller and smaller over many generations.

[Cameron Baker]

The support services that Callaghan assists you with, and really assistance in that sense, the support network around you to help deliver on your goal. And the more, I guess, you give, the more support you’ll see around you.

[Tane Brandley]

The Moana, it is for us, it sustains us, it gives us our seaweed.

[Clare Bradley]

Humans, sometimes, we think we are separate from our natural ecosystem. And actually, if we tune into the fact that we’re a part of it, we can create a really robust, healthy future where everyone is lifted.
We’ve got a long history of using seaweed to enhance our soil, our crofts, our people’s wellbeing as materials. So, tapping into some of that long-held traditional and indigenous knowledge, weaving Mātauranga Māori, western science and practical farming knowledge, and valuing those different knowledge sets to make a strong kete or a weave.

[Tane Bradley]

There’s Mātauranga from everyone we’ve bumped into, and we really cherish it and that’s what helps grow our business.

[Cameron Baker]

There’s a lot of opportunities to reflect on ideas that’ve been done in the past and help those scale with new technology, and it’s almost like combining cultural knowledge and understanding, with the level of science and technology that’s there, and combining those two together.

[Lucas Smith]

There are 58 billion plastic bandages in our ecosystem each year, so you know to be able to leave a space, like that we’re sitting in, with a good economy, a good community and, you know, healing soils that aren’t full of man-made, petroleum-based products. If that’s my mark on the world then so be it.

[Tane Bradley]

We just like to be a little bit of a beacon, we’d like to be a place where, you know, people do see a Māori company doing well and giving it a shot and, you know, participating in sectors that we might not have been in the past, and knocking it out of the park really. So, we just love kicking ass.

[Cameron Baker]

My simplified goal of the future is to see a kiwi in my backyard. It sounds simplified but the amount of work, the amount of unity, the amount of development that needs to go into making that happen is huge. The opportunity is huge. So, when you and I meet up in the near future, and you say ‘hey, show me what you’ve done’. Then let’s just walk up the road and go see a kiwi, and we’ll know that we’ve succeeded.

[Narration in te reo Māori]

E whakahaumako ana i te pūnaha rauropi auaha o Aotearoa me te ao Māori, mātauranga Māori hoki hei painga mō te katoa.

He auaha tūturu e whai pānga ana ki tō tātou ao, koia nei ngā pakihi i whakatūria ai a Callaghan Innovation ki te poipoi, ki te whakatipu hoki.

Mēnā ka whai tōiri mai koe ki ēnei uara, he whakaaro mīharo hoki tāu, kōrero mai ki a mātou

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We have the courage to give things a go.

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We lead by example, and trust others to do the same.

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We use and share our knowledge to create better outcomes for all.

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We support others to be successful in their roles and lives.

Supporting Māori innovators and their pakihi is one of our two main commitments. By embracing te ao Māori values and mātauranga Māori, we enrich our country’s innovation landscape, infusing it with diverse and unique perspectives. This approach cultivates a dynamic and inclusive entrepreneurial environment, sparking innovative solutions to complex challenges. It also ensures we are contributing to building a more prosperous Aotearoa New Zealand, today and for future generations. 

Māori economy team

Callaghan Innovation’s Māori Economy team is a small group of passionate professionals who understand Māori businesses and see innovation as a crucial pathway to success for Māori. The team is there to tautoko your business, by connecting you to research and development (R&D) services, co-funding, opportunities and networks, to help you innovate, commercialise and grow faster.

The Māori Economy team supports:

- All entities, iwi organisations, land trusts, incorporations, businesses, and small-to-medium businesses, that self-identify as Māori.
- Companies acquired by Māori as major shareholders.

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