We recently completed the Poutama ‘what can we dream up this year’ session mapping out 2019.  In some aspects it will be a continuation of consolidating and growing a number of ventures that were initiated in 2018.  There is little doubt though that new ventures as well as things we haven’t even thought of yet will arise during the course of 2019.

During the session we confirmed our stakeholder Value Proposition and got it down to a succinct three words; Connected, Experienced, Trusted.  We even played around with some acronyms for this such as CET, TEC and ETC.  We’ve yet to land on an acronym but Connected, Experienced, Trusted pretty much sums up how Poutama rolls.

Poutama Mischief Makers

Although there are some resource challenges both human and financial around doing all the activities, initiatives and ideas that we dreamt up, Poutama will rise to the challenge with inventiveness and adaptability.  There will be a strong drive on leveraging resources to maintain core services as well as forward momentum on collaborative projects.

The 2018 CL2IMB programme is a success and certainly showed that there is a thirst for business information and connections.  CL2IMB will roll on into 2019 with our sponsors keen to keep supporting the programme.  Poutama’s partnership with Ngai Tahu Tribal Economies has enabled the combining of resources to assist Ngai Tahu small businesses. This programme, Puna Pakihi, is something that we’ve began talking to other iwi on how they can assist their people to develop and grow their businesses.

The big breakthrough for Poutama in 2019 will be the commissioning of the Kawerau dairy plant.  We’ve just about nailed the official name and brand for the dairy plant.  The plant will be commissioned this April in readiness for full production by July. Organic milk supply has been sorted and conventional milk supply is ready for sign off.  A butter plant will be installed and sales agreements have been signed for the USA and Japanese markets.  We’ve had an overwhelming response from people interested in working at the plant and have some further product innovations to be explored.

A couple of other projects that were initiated in 2018 have the opportunity over time to connect into the Kawerau project.

We’ll be doing some pilot work in the solar energy field and will aim to have this ready for commercialisation mid-2019.  We’ll then explore options for combining solar and geothermal energy with the dairy plant as well as work with our milk suppliers on grid connected solar solutions.

Our hemp roopu, MIHI (Movers In Hemp Innovation) is looking to formalise with planning underway for growing of hemp as well as product development.  We’re excited at the possibilities of linking in with Kawerau to explore a range of hemp food products including milk powder and butter.

We’re also planning to kick the positioning of Wairoa as a food brand into action.  We’ve already got hemp and hop growing trials on the move and have worked on red meat and honey.  Wairoa is a region that is ripe (excuse the pun) for a range of fruit and vegetables to be grown.  The area is one of NZ’s largest producers of limes.  The Wairoa project will be underpinned by a digital platform whereby we will be aiming to leverage the presence of Rocket Lab at Mahia as well as local initiatives such as the Wairoa ICT Club.

On the investment front we want to establish the Māori Investment Roopu (MIR).  MIR will look to pool financial resources to invest directly into Māori business and projects.  We’ve shown that Māori collaborative investment is a catalyst for being more self-determining when it comes to investing.  The Kawerau dairy project demonstrates this, as does the emergence of collaborative investment in solar energy and hemp.  It will be great to position MIR for investment into Māori business, particularly in the IT sector.

All of these activities though Poutama cannot do alone.  We can be ideational, an initiator, a facilitator and an accelerator but we’ll still need help.  A big part of our work for 2019 will be around the continuation of leveraging relationships and resources. We can do this because Poutama is Connected, Experienced, Trusted.