Our vision is that:

By 2025, Māori business will be influential in sectors and industries in which they are well represented in the New Zealand and global economies.

Our vision for Māori enterprises is grounded in the following premises: Being “influential” means  Māori enterprises have established a sustainable market position in traditional and emerging sectors; Being “influential” allows Māori enterprises to procure opportunities for work, income, entrepreneurship and business ownership; and Being “influential” contributes to  Māori economic success and the capacity to more broadly shape the New Zealand economy.

Poutama Mission

To grow Māori enterprise; culturally, socially, and economically for the benefit of current and future generations

Poutama Guiding Values

Value Meaning Expected standard
Rangatiratanga Self-determination Acting with chiefly authority and intent in the best interests of the collective (i.e., whanau, hapu, iwi, community).
Mohiotanga Knowledge Sharing of information, advice, ideas & experiences
Whānaungatanga Relationships Actively managing family and non-family relationships to enhance our shared existence.


OUTCOME 1: Poutama Tautoko

Outcome Statement: To increase the number of sustainable Māori enterprises

Three-year outputs: Poutama will:

  • Continue to pursue gaining resources from third parties to assist with Māori enterprise growth and sustainability
  • Leverage institutional knowledge to help Māori enterprises make the most of their capacities and capabilities
  • Grow connections & relationships to benefit Māori enterprises

OUTCOME 2: Poutama Whānaungatanga

Outcome Statement: Thriving domestic & international collaborations

Three-year outputs: Poutama will:

  • Create an adaptive model to assess & accelerate collaboration
  • Support Māori enterprises to achieve scale and sophistication through collaboration
  • Facilitate knowledge transfer between Government, industry and Māori enterprises

OUTCOME 3: Poutama Pūtea

Outcome Statement: To diversify & grow Poutama’s investment activities

Three-year outputs: Poutama will:

  • Determine and make investments as per the Asset Allocation as set out in the SIPO.
  • Review quarterly and annually the financial performance of investment portfolio against long-term expectations and its overall benchmark.
  • Develop initiatives to invest with and directly into Māori enterprise

OUTCOME 4: Poutama Tangata

Outcome: High performing organisation.

Three-year outputs: Poutama will:

  • Create a culture and reputation for being a high performing Māori organisation
  • Leverage systems and procedures that can be used anywhere & anytime.
  • Grow recognition and reputation of the Poutama brand

Māori Enterprise

Māori enterprises  have been international traders since at least the 1790s, producing and supplying potatoes, other vegetables, fruit and pigs for sale to whalers in return for such items as  building materials, seeds and clothing. During the early-mid 1800s Māori enterprises were exporting food products to Sydney and the California goldfields.  Māori enterprises at that time also owned and operated most of the coastal shipping.

The increasing influx of European settlers from mid 1800s saw imported values and laws gain traction, particularly around individualism of land title. Subsequent land sales, land wars and confiscations led to rapid, and in many cases irreversible, erosion of the traditional Māori economic and capital base and social institutions. The mid 1900s are epitomised by mass movements of Māori into cities, taking their labour skills and hard work ethics into the commercial centres of New Zealand.

At the turn of the 21st century,  Māori enterprise and entrepreneurship has seen a significant return to and regrowth of Māori-owned businesses. Characterised by whanau run operations based on collaboration and networking, the economic goals driving Māori-owned business are often underpinned by social objectives.

Equipped with a culturally based business approach and style of operating  Māori are confident and enthusiastic at conducting business throughout Aotearoa-New Zealand and throughout the World.  Māori businesses, and those who invest in them, are reaping the benefits from growing cultural confidence, strengthening business acumen and a unique indigenous point of difference to contribute to their business activities.

Poutama is an apolitical, independent, pan-tribal and proactive Maori business development organisation. Working as honest brokers, unencumbered by bureaucracy and long-winded processes Poutama fosters the growth of Maori-owned businesses and commercial activities.

Since 5th July 1988 Poutama has been delivering its unique range of business services for over two decades.Kei te aha matou (What we do)?

Poutama has a proven track record of working successfully with Maori businesses to help them grow. Established in 1988, our unique and effective style of operation takes account of the varied needs of Maori businesses that are often whanau run and frequently rurally based.

Poutama assists existing businesses to consolidate and grow their businesses and to set them on a path of sustainability. Poutama works across all sectors and industries that Maori businesses are involved in. This includes but is not limited to; the service sectors, food & beverage, tourism, information technology and primary industries.

The New Zealand business landscape is dominated by micro–small businesses. Research shows that often these businesses do not grow and ultimately fail. By working with businesses to help them consolidate their activities and achieve growth and sustainability, Poutama aims to move businesses from the micro stage to the small-medium stage, and for some onto the big stage. Poutama seeks to get businesses through the difficult steps of developing and growing a business, and to ensure that as many as possible become self-sustaining and self-determining.