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New partnership supports Māori business innovation

This article was published on 6 March 2023

Callaghan Innovation and Māori trade organisation Te Taumata have signed an agreement that will see them working closer together to support greater success for Māori business domestic and international. 

Signed in the Tuku Iho Exhibition at Te Matatini Kapa Haka Festival last week, the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) seeks to grow the next generation of Māori leaders in innovation, sciences, technology, research and development by sharing resources, expertise and innovation.

Callaghan Innovation’s Chief Executive Stefan Korn says the MOU builds on a national strategy hui, hosted by Te Taumata, at Parliament last October on Māori global trade aspirations.

“The hui identified technology and innovation as a critical enabler of Māori organisations wanting to grow their businesses internationally. These organisations are especially keen to capitalise on opportunities presented by the recent signings of Free Trade Agreements with the United Kingdom and European Union,” Mr Korn said.

Callaghan Innovation, the innovation agency of the New Zealand government, has identified partnership with Māori as one of the key pathways to achieve its goal of supporting customers that can have the largest impact on New Zealand. 

“With Te Taumata regarded as a strong authentic Māori voice on trade between Aotearoa New Zealand and the rest of the world, this initiative marks an important step forward to reaching this goal,” Mr Korn said.

The MOU will be in place for an initial period of three years and will see Callaghan Innovation identifying opportunities to support the growth of Māori research science, development and technology, as well as growing rangatahi engagement and backing Government support of Māori business export opportunities.

Te Taumata chair Chris Insley says his organisation will enable Callaghan Innovation to connect with Māori exporters via their trusted relationships with the Māori community. Te Taumata are particularly keen to foster a network of collaboration by connecting research, science and technology innovators across indigenous communities.

“The Māori economy is estimated to be worth $70 billion, expected to grow to $100 billion by 2030, and exports make up a significant portion of that. Signing this MOU at Te Matatini, which brings together all areas of Māoridom to celebrate Māori success, is indicative of the huge potential and creativity inherent in the Māori business community.

“Our partnership with Callaghan Innovation will maximise that potential and in turn drive better outcomes for our whānau and communities,” Mr Insley said.



Callaghan Innovation chief executive Stefan Korn, left, and Te Taumata chair Chris Insley at the signing of the  Memorandum of Understanding to foster Māori business innovation.

Callaghan Innovation chief executive Stefan Korn, left, and Te Taumata chair Chris Insley at the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding to foster Māori business innovation.




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About Callaghan Innovation

Callaghan Innovation is New Zealand’s innovation agency. The organisation’s primary mandate is to activate innovation and accelerate commercialisation to help businesses grow faster for a better New Zealand.

The government agency partners with ambitious businesses of all sizes, delivering a range of innovation and research and development (R&D) services to suit each stage of their growth. Callaghan Innovation’s team empowers innovators by connecting people, opportunities and networks, and providing tailored technical solutions, skills and capability development programmes, and grants co-funding.

Callaghan Innovation also enhances the operation of New Zealand’s innovation ecosystem, working closely with MBIE, NZTE, NZGCP, Crown Research Institutes, and other organisations that help increase business investment in R&D and innovation. The agency operates from four urban offices and a regional partner network in a further 12 locations across Aotearoa. 

Gracefield Innovation Quarter is home to more than 200 of New Zealand’s leading scientists, researchers and technicians, along with a suite of tenant businesses. The site features state-of-the-art specialist workshops, pilot plants, labs and equipment, and world-class measurement facilities.