Māori Economic Development Fund open to support mana whenua business
Applications for the 2021/22 Māori Economic Development Fund are now welcomed with $65,000 available in the contestable fund.
The Māori Economic Development Fund was established in 2013 by Kāpiti Coast District Council and Te Whakaminenga o Kāpiti to assist Kāpiti whānau, hapū, iwi and mātāwaka develop business or social enterprise. Applications close 18 February 2022.
Previous successful applicants include the Māoriland Film Festival, Ōtaki Manuka Growers Ltd and Kāpiti Island Nature Tours.
Recent recipient Hohepa Thompson knows setting up or growing a business is not easy.
After months of planning and building the Ōtaki artist and owner of The Hori Gallery is preparing to open a new studio space and Te Chur_ch Café at Ōtaki Beach in early February.
Mr Thompson says after a busy time he is now looking forward to finally welcoming the community to the new venture.
“It’s going to be space to work and for the community to use, with a tikanga Māori-led approach,” Mr Thompson says.
“Adding the café is about being able to host people which is a big part of what we do. It’s about bringing people into a space to eat and sit, somewhere to bring the kids and see the creative process at the same time.
“We’ll be doing things a bit differently – like on a koha basis for some things – to teach people about culture in a way they might not have seen in a commercial space.”
Mr Thompson says support from the Fund has helped in what has been a long and challenging journey.
He encourages those with a business or idea to apply, but cautions they should be fully committed to their project and ensure it is viable.
“Every bit helps and a grant can be a lot of money to get things started off – if you’re looking to start something up it’s perfect. With any business you have to be there 100 per cent - the commitment needs to be there and you have to be accountable.”
Te Whakaminenga o Kāpiti chair Naomi Solomon says a vibrant Māori economy benefits everyone.
“We are fortunate in Kāpiti to have a number of established and burgeoning Māori businesses which bring not just economic but social, cultural and environmental benefits to the local community and country,” Ms Solomon says.
“This Fund is here to help those businesses get to the next level, whether they’re starting out or in growth mode. We are looking forward to seeing some strong applications come in.”
Successful applicants will need to meet a number of criteria, including alignment with the priorities of the Māori Economic Development Strategy. Applications should fall into one of three criteria – manaakitangata, kaitiakitanga or kotahitanga.
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.