Kia hiwa rā! Māori Economic Development Fund open for applications

7 Mar 2024, 1:17 PM

Kāpiti Coast District Council invites Kāpiti whānau, hapū, iwi, ngā mātāwaka and Māori businesses to apply to the Māori Economic Development Fund which is now open.

The contestable fund has $65,000 available this year for projects that align to the district’s Māori Economic Development Strategy and its priority themes of manaakitanga, kaitiakitanga or kotahitanga.

The Fund aims to support growing the wealth and prosperity of Kāpiti Māori and is open to those starting out or in growth mode.

Te Whakaminenga o Kāpiti chair André Baker says the Fund recognises the unique features of the Māori economy in ways that other funding opportunities do not.

“Te Ōhanga o Kāpiti - the local Māori economy has a historic relationship with international trade and remains an important and growing part of the Aotearoa landscape, and while it is integrated into the New Zealand economy there are features that make it different,” Mr Baker says.

“Things like whānau being the foundation of the Māori economy, applying their cultural values that guide our lives and mahi, and the relationship to Te Taiao (the natural world) are distinctive and crucial to the country’s economic success.

“This Fund acknowledges these factors and provides an opportunity for existing and emerging local Māori businesses to get some help on their journey towards improved economic well-being.

“We are not talking about a large pūtea of money but I am proud of our Council’s financial commitment to recognise our local Māori businesses if you have a great plan.”

Kāpiti Island Nature Tours director and Kāpiti Business Hall of Fame member John Barrett says up and coming Māori businesses should put their best foot forward and apply.

“The Fund is an example of local government and iwi partnership and a great opportunity for Māori small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) or start-ups to get ideas off the ground or bring some robustness to a fledgling business,” Mr Barrett says.

“It’s tough in this environment for aspirants to find a helping hand and this is in that space. Prospective applicants should embrace the chance to be part of the growing Māori economy in our district – there is plenty of opportunity to contribute to the economy and environment.”

Mr Baker says some excellent Kāpiti businesses have been supported by the Fund over the years and the assessment panel looks forward to seeing what applications come through this time.

Applications to the Māori Economic Development Grants Fund close on 7 April.

Visit to find criteria, apply or to book a short meeting with a member of the Kāpiti Coast District Council Iwi Partnership Team to discuss your application.