Te Aratiatia takes out top Maori Business Award

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Te Aratiatia Learning and Development, an Otaki-based company specialising in leadership development and organisational management, has taken out the prestigious Rangatiratanga Award at this year’s Te Ropu Pakihi Maori Business Awards.

The third biennial regional Maori business awards, were announced at a gala awards dinner at Raukawa Marae tonight (28/5), attended by over 160 people. The awards celebrate distinctive Maori enterprises through the expression of kaupapa (inherited values) in commercial activities.

The Rangatiratanga Award was presented by Professor Whatarangi Winiata. Other awards were presented by Tumuaki for Te Wananga o Raukawa Mereana Selby, the Mayor of Horowhenua Brendan Duffy, the Mayor of Kapiti Jenny Rowan, Maori Party M.P. Rahui Katene, and National List M.P. Hekia Parata.

This year’s awards saw 19 finalists competing in five categories including: Manaakitanga, Ukaipotanga, Kotahitanga, Whanaugnatanga, and Kaitiakitanga. The top (Rangatiratanga) award went to Te Aratiatia Learning and Development Ltd judged to be the entrant that best incorporated kaupapa Maori values and behaviour in all its activities.

Operating from Otaki for the past nine years, Te Aratiatia Learning and Development is a consultancy business that helps other organisations deliver effective and efficient services with and for Maori.

The company was presented with a year’s website hosting and development – as well as cash prize, a plaque and taonga.

Te Aratiatia, founded and managed by Denis Gennell collaborates with other trainers all over New Zealand. The company has designed, developed and facilitated workshops, training courses and leadership programmes for a wide range of government agencies including the Department of Corrections, the Department of Conservation, Te Wananga o Aotearoa, the Ministry of Fisheries, Counties Manakau DHB, the Maori Land Corp and Housing Corp NZ.

Judges: Professor Whatarangi Winiata of Te Wananga o Raukawa, Bernie Savage of Te Puni Kokiri and Christine Warren of Te Kokiri Development Consultancy Inc said they were

very impressed with the kaupapa and tikanga based policies and processes being used by Te Aratiatia, and they were also impressed with the quality of financial statements, quality standards manuals and teaching plans produced by the company.

Te Ropu Pakihi Awards Convenor Daphne Luke said Denis Gemmell had invested significantly in professional development, and had managed to underpin the imported methodologies used by the company with kaupapa tuku iho, which was not an easy task.

Other finalists in the Rangatiratanga Award were: Kiss and Bake Up Ltd, which operates three caf/Bakeries in Otaki and Waikanae; Kapiti Island Alive and internationally recognised eco/cultural tourism business; Te Ao Tika Limited a small whanau-based business that fits glazing panels and Magicseal insect screens for both domestic and corporate customers in the Wellington region, and Kanikani Kids, an Otaki company that makes kakahu (contemporary Maori costumes). All the finalists were presented with cash prize, a plaque and a certificate.

There are over 538 Maori businesses in the rohe (Paekakariki to Shannon) with Maori businesses making up 10 per cent of all business in Kapiti and Horowhenua.. All business in the rohe were eligible to enter the awards and entrants ranged from iwi-owned service providers to whanau operated private businesses, and sole traders including: several tourism businesses, a film company, a high profile bakery and a business manufacturing designer headstones.

Daphne Luke said the standard of entries for this year’s awards was the best ever. She said entrants were becoming more used to the kaupapa Maori format and were better able to articulate expressions of kaupapa in their own businesses.

For the first time ever, this year’s judging panel visited all entrants in order to find out more about the Maori businesses in the rohe. Bernie Savage, who has judged the two previous awards, says this made the judging tougher, especially when all the entrants demonstrated such a high level of business skill.

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