Buyer case studies

Last updated: Rāmere, 13 Hereturikōkā, 2021 | Friday, 13 August 2021

Kāinga Ora builds village that supports wellbeing

Kainga Ora is using its buying power to have a greater focus on long-term benefits for New Zealanders.

Kāinga Ora is building an innovative 276-apartment complex in central Auckland that has a commitment to supporting Māori and Pasifika business growth alongside other social outcomes.

The Greys Avenue development is the most ambitious Kāinga Ora project to date, with a building cost of over $100m. They anticipate at least 4-to-7 percent of the project sum will be spent with Māori and Pasifika businesses.

Many homes in the Greys Avenue complex will cater to residents with higher or complex needs, such as former homeless people. To that end, residents will have access to onsite medical facilities and 24/7 wraparound support services.

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei has been involved in the design process and will be an integral partner throughout the project. The narrative for the building is based on the local taniwha named Horotiu, who wraps around the building. Iwi artists and designers have also been engaged in the project.

Kāinga Ora Manager Social Outcomes, Georgina Ellis says they are committed to elevating all New Zealand communities, and the Māori community is no exception.

“By partnering with Māori to create new business, employment and training opportunities, we add to the enrichment of New Zealand.  We’ve been consistently impressed by the innovation, expertise and enthusiasm shown by the Māori business community,” she says.

Growing Māori and Pasifika businesses is part of the broader social outcomes Kāinga Ora has set through procurement initiatives that help boost employment and training opportunities, support worker wellbeing, minimise environmental impact, and foster a positive relationship with the community.

Delivering more than just roads in Tairāwhiti

A shift by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency (Waka Kotahi) to using a broader outcomes lens when deciding on contract spend is having a positive effect on Māori-owned businesses and the wider Tairāwhiti community.

On the east coast of New Zealand, a partnership between the Provincial Growth Fund, Waka Kotahi and Gisborne District Council to deliver a large-scale roading package is having much greater local benefits than just better roads.     

Alongside important road improvements, the Tairāwhiti Roading Package is retraining forestry workers to deliver the project, employing a higher percentage of Māori workforce and Māori owned businesses, and is in partnership with local schools to promote science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and onsite days for workforce experience.

One of the Māori businesses contracted for the work is Blackbee Contracting, which has tripled in size since the initiative got underway.

Boss Blackbee (far left) owner of Ruatoria based Blackbee Contractors with workers delivering the Tairāwhiti Roading Package

Owner Boss Blackbee says providing quality work and training for people is the most important aspect of the extra investment.

“We want to show everyone that East Coast people are more than capable of providing this level of service. There needs to be more confidence in our people to step up and deliver in order for our communities to prosper,” he says.

Waka Kotahi says the Tairāwhiti Roading Package is the start of a cultural change to their usual buyer practices. Through their new procurement strategy the transport agency is considering the social, economic, cultural, and environmental outcomes of all their contracts.

One of the four target outcome areas in this strategy is partnering with and empowering Māori to ensure Māori thrive as Treaty Partners, Māori business/enterprise, and community leaders to ensure strong, meaningful and enduring mutually beneficial outcomes.