Māori Economy

Māori contribute $1.4 billion to the Waikato economy

Wednesday November 19, 2014 Hillmare Schulze

BERL was commissioned by Te Puni Kōkiri, Waikato Regional Council and Federation of Māori Authorities to complete an economic analysis of Māori contribution to the Waikato region. This research was presented at a Māori economic development workshop in Hamilton on 11 November 2014.


maori economy waikatoThe main findings from our research are:


Māori contribute 8 percent to the total GDP of the Waikato region


In 2012, Māori businesses generated $1.4 billion in value added to the Waikato region. This represents an 8 percent contribution to the total value added GDP of the Waikato region.


Māori in the Waikato region have an asset base $6.2 billion...


At $6.2 billion in 2012, the asset base of Māori in the Waikato region makes up 15 percent of total Māori assets in New Zealand. The agriculture, forestry & fishing (28 percent), property & business services (23 percent) and manufacturing (15 percent) industries make a significant contribution to the overall Māori asset base in the region.


...with $2.8 billion in collectively owned assets


Assets held in collective ownership through Māori authorities such as trusts and incorporations, rūnanga and Treaty settlement entities in the Waikato region were worth $2.8 billion in 2012. This represents 46 percent of the total Māori asset base in the Waikato region.


Māori made up 22 per cent of the population and contributed 25 per cent of all those employed.


The report noted a large proportion of Māori were employed in low paid, low productivity industries, while the average weekly income for Māori was 25 per cent or $189 lower than the average weekly income for non-Māori (compared to 22 per cent lower nationally.


Looking to the future


Māori assets in Waikato are expected to grow as a result of further Treaty settlements and Waikato-Tainui receiving further redress. This growth, coupled with economic diversification by Māori entities, meant Waikato Māori are increasingly likely to play a key part in shaping economic development in the region.


However, the young Māori population in the Waikato region combined with the significant proportion of Māori employed in lower paid and low productive industries represents a challenge to Māori businesses, iwi and the region to both retain, upskill and create employment opportunities for these young people.


The full report and the summary report is available online www.tpk.govt.nz/en/in-print/our-publications/