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Whāriki and Callaghan Innovation enter partnership

open this image in new window: Callaghan Innovation CEO, Stefan Korn, and Whāriki CEO, Trina Tamati

This article was published on 22 May 2023

Whāriki and Callaghan Innovation enter partnership to support Māori business innovation


Callaghan Innovation and Whāriki have entered a strategic partnership to accelerate the commercialisation of innovation in Māori enterprise. 

The goal of the partnership is to connect Māori businesses to research and development opportunities that support and accelerate the growth of Māori businesses across the motu.

Callaghan Innovation Chief Māori and Government Engagement Officer Henare Johnson says the partnership will help support the long-term growth aspirations of Māori businesses.

“Supporting Māori enterprise is key to Callaghan Innovation’s strategy of focusing on the innovators with the potential to create the most social and economic impact in Aotearoa.

“Although Māori businesses are nearly twice as likely to be involved in R&D as others, many report difficulties accessing and navigating associated government support services.”

Henare Johnson says the relationship will help Callaghan Innovation to connect Māori businesses with the right people, funding opportunities, and supporting organisations. 

The Callaghan Innovation whānau is always looking for opportunities to help Māori businesses to grow faster by developing innovative products and services. This partnership will help our team to connect with more Māori business founders, entrepreneurs and innovators.

Trina Tamati, CEO of Whāriki, says Whāriki recognises the importance of innovation in creating value for Māori businesses and communities over the long-term. This is the first formalised government agency partnership for the organisation.


“We seek partnerships that recognise the need to be bolder, find and unleash new thinking, and lead out with new solutions. This partnership will contribute to advancing our goal of finding pathways to sustainable business and economic participation for Māori,” she says. 


Callaghan Innovation and Whāriki will work together to design and deliver an annual work plan of specific services and activities to connect Māori to scientists, innovators, and organisations. 


The plan will leverage Whāriki as a Māori-led kaupapa to support investment in mātauranga Māori business pathways. It will also identify opportunities to support the growth of Māori innovation, science, technology, and research & development. The partners will co-design initiatives to support the growth of the Māori innovation community and its influence. 





Media contacts

• Callaghan Innovation: 

   Email or call the media team on 027 291 9604. 

• Whāriki: 

   Email Skye Ross (Ngāti Kahungunu ki te Wairoa)


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.

For more information visit


About Whāriki

Whāriki is a place to connect and weave bonds of whanaungatanga, a foundation for the development of Māori economic success and a platform for Māori entrepreneurial excellence.

For more information visit