The Reserve Bank’s focus on growing a thriving Māori economy is commendable but there are still fiscal obstacles to overcome, Te Taumata Chairman Chris Karamea Insley says.

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand has released its statement of intent for the next three years, and in it, signals its commitment to understanding the Māori economy and enabling it to prosper.

This includes ensuring a Te Ao Māori perspective is interwoven throughout the Reserve Bank’s mahi, maintaining Te Waka Hourua (its Te Ao Māori strategy) as a key strategic priority, and initiating a series of virtual global discussions about building a collective understanding of indigenous histories and economics.

This work will help build a more secure, compatible global trade climate for Māori businesses, Mr Insley says, but access to capital continues to be an obstacle for Māori enterprises.

“Māori enterprises and entrepreneurs have significant knowledge and fantastic products to contribute to the global market but in order to take full advantage of what we can offer, we need a more equitable system which includes better access to capital.

“It’s encouraging to see the Reserve Bank not only identify this issue, but launch a work programme with a focus on bank lending to small and medium- sized Māori enterprises.

“Improving this access will result in better long-term business and trade opportunities for Māori entrepreneurs here and abroad.”

Mr Insley says the Māori economy report, Te Ōhanga Māori, is also a significant development and one that identifies key opportunities and challenges facing Te Ōhanga Māori.

“This holistic approach to the bank’s work shows a willingness to understand and address the economic and financial issues faced by our people.

“Both Te Taumata and the Reserve Bank recognise Te Ōhanga Māori is not a separate economy, rather it is a closely connected component that, alongside others, make up the economy of Aotearoa.

“Investing in growing this important part of Aotearoa’s economy will result in positive outcomes for all.”

You can read the Reserve Bank’s full report here.