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Fund to support Māori business in Kāpiti open

31 Mar 2023, 12:28 PM

Kāpiti Coast District Council says a fund aimed at supporting Māori business on the Kāpiti Coast has opened for 2022/23 and whānau, hapū, Iwi, ngā mātāwaka and Māori business are encouraged to apply. 

The contestable Māori Economic Development Grants Fund has $68,000 available for criteria-meeting applications. Applications close on 21 April. 

Te Whakaminenga o Kāpiti chair André Baker says nationally the Māori economy is worth $70 billion and growing, presenting opportunities for local businesses. 

“The Māori Economic Development Fund is aimed at supporting the wealth and prosperity of our people and encourages those starting out or in growth mode to take important steps forward,” Mr Baker says. 

“The Fund is a great opportunity for Kāpiti Māori entrepreneurs and businesspeople to get some financial assistance and is open to new or existing businesses. 

“Some great local enterprises, like the Māoriland Film Festival, Kāpiti Island Nature Tours and more recently the Hori Gallery and Te Chur_ch Café, have received support from the Fund and are making great contributions to the local economy and vibrancy of the Kāpiti Coast. 

“So, we’re calling on talented, creative and committed applicants to get in touch and submit a proposal.” 

Successful applicants will need to meet the Fund’s criteria, including alignment with the priorities of the Māori Economic Development Strategy. Applications should fall into one of three criteria – manaakitanga, kaitiakitanga or kotahitanga. 

Kim Tasker of Ōtaki-based Hā Pai Wellness was a Fund recipient in 2021/22 and says it helped her get up and running. 

“Developing and launching my pakihi was possible with the tautoko and koha from the Fund,” Ms Tasker says. 

“It softened the start-up challenges we as Māori entrepreneurs face in a very competitive environment, challenges that were amplified in 2022 with Covid setbacks. 

“Post Covid it is clear hauora services are invaluable to the wellbeing of our hapori and beyond. 

“The Fund recognised the value, my passion and commitment to business. I encourage any Māori pakihi that has a valuable kaupapa to tap into the support on offer, for we are all in this together. 

“Ka mihi au Te Whakaminenga o Kāpiti, I am grateful.” 

Mr Baker says Te Whakaminenga o Kāpiti and Council are proud to support a vibrant and dynamic Māori economy in Kāpiti. 

“We’re looking forward to receiving some excellent new applications. If you’d like to discuss your application don’t hesitate to get in touch – our team is happy to talk through your ideas.” 

Applications are open until 21 April and funds will be distributed to successful applicants by 29 May. 

Visit www.kapiticoast.govt.nz/maori-ed-grant for more information on the Māori Economic Development Strategy, the Fund criteria, to find application forms or to get in touch with Council’s Iwi Partnership Team.