Another year has ambled by and as we look back on it the ever presence of change has moved almost imperceptibly among us.  Actually, it’s not until we do look back that the realisation dawns that for a small whānau, Poutama has experienced a myriad of activities involving Māori enterprise.

Among all of this we’ve increased the Poutama whānau by two with baby kōtiro from Vonese and Te Miringa joining the crew.  Vonese’s baby has undergone her baptism of fire through attending Poutama hui just as the previous crew of now grown up Poutama tamariki did back in the day.  Poutama is doing fine as an inter-generational organisation with Boomers, Gens X & Y, Millennials and more recently a Gen Zder joining us.  Vonese and Te Miringa’s pēpi will be our first Gen Alphers!!

Poutama’s latest addition to the whānau – Hinemoa Maeva Tapurau

On the service delivery side our CL2IMB programme for this version came to a close in October.  Launched in 2017, CL2IMB gathered momentum so that by its close it was well supported by a core whānau of sponsors.  With the support of this whānau, Poutama was able to deliver CL2IMB to 14 locations throughout Aotearoa where a total of 619 businesses got to participate in the experience.  The largest attendances for CL2IMB occurred mainly in smaller areas although Hamilton really turned it on with 65 people turning up on the night.  For the next iteration of CL2IMB we’ll be targeting towns that don’t usually get these sorts of hui and taking it to places like Ruatoria, Wairoa, Ohakune, Kaikoura and Hokitika.

Marley Marie Walker at her first Poutama hui – CL2IMB Ahuriri in Napier

Demand on Poutama’s investment services for 2019 became so great that we had to slow down and make adjustments to this popular service.  Poutama is a totally self-funded organisation that runs itself off the return on its investment portfolio.  We are continuously fine-tuning the portfolio to tweak and increase services.  One new service that we aim to deliver in 2020 will be a start-up fund.  This fund will be for businesses that have been operating less than 12 months.

Work has continued on evolving Poutama Capital.  This is a fund that will target retail investors as opposed to wholesale investors.  Providing investment services to the retail market is compliance heavy so Poutama will continue to investigate and hopefully validate that such a service is viable.  Hui we’ve held to date certainly indicate that there is a market gap for Poutama Capital to fill.

A number of our projects gathered momentum throughout the year and a major project that we’ve been working on for a number of years was finally launched.  This project, Waiū Dairy, was initiated in 2013 and the dairy plant was opened mid-2019.  As with any start-up of this complexity it has not been without its challenges but the first lot of products was recently shipped off to different parts of the globe including USA, Singapore and Australia.

As with many of the projects Poutama initiates there is generally a bit of a gestation period but we’re certainly wanting to accelerate this process.  We’re working with Massey University on case studies for two of our projects.  Each of these projects involves a number of other businesses that are underpinned by the core value of Whakawhanaungatanga (collaboration).  Waiū Dairy involved the bringing together of 11 Māori businesses and a Japanese business.  MIHI (Movers In Hemp Innovation) is Poutama’s largest collaborative project to date involving 20 NZ businesses, 5 NZ research organisations, 2 Canadian First Nations businesses and a mainstream Canadian business.  We’re aiming to ramp this project up in 2020.

We’ve also progressed a couple of smaller projects throughout 2019 including a renewable energy business, Tū Mai Rā Energy, that has started off working on solar systems with the intention of phasing in and combining wind, geothermal and hydrogen energy.  Another project, Wairoa Kete Kai, brings together four local entities that are investigating taking a stake in a local Wairoa business The Limery.  The intention here is to use The Limery as a base to introduce other business activities that the group is involved in including hemp, hops, honey, fruit and vegetables, and red meat.

During 2020 Poutama aims to initiate some step change and pivots to its mode of operations.  This though will not detract from our ability to remain nimble and adaptable.  As always, Poutama will strive to offer value and excellent service to your business.

We wish you a great Xmas and an awesome New Year.

Mauri Ora