October 14, 2021
Bank faces up to barriers to Māori business
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A prominent banker says lack of access to funding is stifling future growth of Māori business.
Launching Westpac NZ’s latest report into the Māori economy, acting chief executive Simon Power said Māori businesses are growing in numbers but are underrepresented within Aotearoa’s economy and face barriers to growth.
Māori are overrepresented in low-skilled jobs, which contributes to an income gap of around $2.6 billion between Māori and non-Māori.
Māori home ownership rates lag well behind non-Māori, depriving would-be entrepreneurs of an asset to borrow against to start their own business.
Mr Power told an APEC 2021 virtual event governments and businesses across the region need to work with Indigenous communities to ensure economic growth is shared equally and no groups are left behind.
He says the bank is working to connect with more Māori and diverse businesses through its supply chain, partnering with iwi on shared housing equity schemes.