Māori business development programme wins national awards

A programme enabling Māori businesses to earn government procurement contracts has won national acclaim from the engineering sector.

Published: Thursday, 29 February 2024 | Rāpare, 29 Huitanguru, 2024

The Te Puni Kōkiri capability uplift programme and its successful work with procurement consultancy firm Height Project Management won the Engineering Impact Award and the overall Supreme Award at Engineering New Zealand’s annual ENVI awards ceremony last year.

The awards celebrate outstanding engineering and Aotearoa’s most amazing engineers.

Te Puni Kōkiri Progressive Procurement project lead Kellee Koia said Warner Cowin, CEO of Height Project Management, visited earlier this month to catch-up and deliver the awards.

Pitching for government construction and engineering contracts can be a complex process that’s culturally detached from Te Ao Māori, Kellee said. It can also carry a high commercial risk.

“The capability uplift programme provided by organisations like Height helps by supporting capable Māori businesses to successfully engage in the procurement process,” Kellee said. “The programme also demystifies government procurement, which is a very complex landscape to navigate, in a Te Ao Māori context.”

Height Project Management Limited worked alongside Te Puni Kōkiri to develop the programme and is one of four providers. It is one of the progressive procurement support pathways.

With over $16 billion procured by the government in engineering and construction-based services each year, these contracts can offer Māori businesses the opportunity to help grow regional economies and provide opportunities for training and investment in communities.

ENVI Awards judges praised the programme for unlocking the long-term potential Māori businesses hold for adding value within the construction sector – especially in social housing, health infrastructure and transport areas.

Our support to pakihi Māori includes pakihi that are focussed on providing apprenticeships and work experience to rangatahi, focussed on bringing other Māori businesses into their supplier pipeline, along with pakihi that have a mission of improving outcomes in their communities, which is great Kellee said.

“Our pakihi Māori acknowledge that opportunities to engage in government procurement is great for their business, but the bigger wins are the opportunities for whānau, more jobs into households, more economic stability for children and improved outcomes for whānau and Māori communities.”

Visit our website for more information about Progressive Procurement.