Takiwai Rotorua Maori business off to a stellar start

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(Daily Post) Takiwai, the Rotorua Maori business network, had a good turnout at its first event at RAVE on Wednesday night.

The network launched in December and aims to create business relationships among Maori involved across all sectors. Committee chairwoman Lara Northcroft, of Velvet Stone Media, said it was about providing an avenue for Maori businesses to meet and network.

“There are more Maori businesses in our region than people realise and, collectively, we contribute a great deal to the economic prosperity of our city and region.”

Guest speakers at the inaugural event were Mitai Maori Village chief executive Wetini Mitai-Ngatai, leader of national kapa haka champions Te Mataarae I Orehu, and business and tourism leader Oscar Nathan.

Northcroft said both speakers had extensive experience in the Rotorua tourism industry and were eager to share this with other local business owners.

Mitai-Ngatai spoke about his journey to create the Mitai Maori Village Experience and Nathan brought business owners up to date with the region’s plans for the Rugby World Cup and ways they could get involved.

Photo - Ben Fraser

Northcroft was pleased with the turnout for the first event and said many people had gone away with membership forms.

Annual membership of Takiwai costs $150.

We had a good mix of age and gender and businesses ranging from very small firms or people with business ideas through to people from government departments and Maori land trusts.”

Feedback has been extremely positive and Northcroft said the plan was to hold at least six events a year – possibly more if there were “fabulous” people in town who could be persuaded to speak.

The next event is likely to be a breakfast in May and Matariki will be the focus of a mid-year gathering.

“We want to have something every six to eight weeks.”

Details about Takiwai, membership and future events will be available on the website www.takiwai.co.nz or by contacting the committee on info@takiwai.co.nz.

Below is Te Karere’s report on the event:

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