Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei has a long history of innovation and business acumen. One example was Paora Tuhaere, whose image proudly hangs in the Whai Rawa office entrance, known for his commercial nous and trade relations with settlers, other iwi and other pacific nations. In more recent times, we have the Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei rangatira who negotiated the purchase of Te Tōangaroa, 20 hectares of former railway lands in the city, which has now become the hapū's single largest commercial asset and greatest revenue earner. The legacy of their decisions can be seen in the value of the Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei asset base.
Looking ahead, we will further develop the Oneoneroa community on the North Shore and start construction of our new papa kāinga housing in Ōrākei and residential housing near Unitec. These are large projects, and will need a range of suppliers and contractors, including builders, carpenters, architects, planners, project managers, civils, plumbers and electricians.
There is an opportunity for whānau pakihi to be involved. So how do we ensure whānau pakihi are ready to take up mahi on offer?
The iwi has developed the Toi Pakihi framework to create clear and meaningful pathways for whānau businesses to participate in the future of our tribal economy and the world’s economy. It also puts a line in the sand and sets a target for at least 25% of commercial spend to go towards whānau businesses by 2040.
Whai Māia are driving the strategy by supporting whānau owned businesses through a suite of initiatives and programmes. They are also working to build a database of whānau pakihi that we can draw on for our mahi.
We’re in the early stages, but this kaupapa is important to us – and to the future of the iwi – because when you have strong whānau businesses, you have strong whānau, and when you have strong whānau, you have a strong iwi.
We have had some success on our projects already, with whānau businesses working on the early stages of Oneoneroa, on Kāinga Kaumātua completed earlier this year, and on the recent demolition of old housing on Kupe Street.
Whānau contractors are also undertaking maintenance works (land maintenance, electrician, handy man, builders and painters) to work on the Ōrākei residential refurbishments.
Ultimately, Whai Rawa wants whānau businesses across all our projects. The more we know about whānau pakihi, the better - so if you haven't already, please register your business with Whai Māia.
If you own a business, make sure you register for the Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Business Hub, https://bit.ly/37HjcuQ