Biggest intake of Māori advertising and design panellists announced

Twelve Māori or Pasifika businesses were announced on the All of Government (AoG) panel for advertising and design service contracts last week. The group is the biggest intake of Māori or Pasifika owned businesses to those two panels.

Published: Rāapa, 15 Hakihea, 2021 | Wednesday, 15 December 2021

Māori businesses learnt about the AoG panel tender through regional hui for the Progressive Procurement initiative led by Te Puni Kōkiri and Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. Three of these Māori businesses were also supported through the application process by the Progressive Procurement project. Progressive Procurement aims to support Māori businesses to be tender-ready and to increase the diversity of government suppliers. 

AoG panels are an easy way for government agencies to contract with businesses on those panels. All businesses on the panels have been through a rigorous tender process and meet the criteria required to contract with government. There are now 221 businesses across both the advertising and design panels, including 110 new ones.

Māori advertising agency Wawata Creative husband and wife duo Inia Maxwell and Rongopai Stirling-Maxwell say the support of Te Puni Kōkiri through the process got them over the line. They were successful at getting on both the advertising and design panels.

“We are over the moon and wouldn’t be on the AOG panel or have pitched for our first government contract without this opportunity. A lot of it is understanding the application process, making sure we answered the questions properly and just being guided through it,” Rongopai says.

Inia has been a creative director and cultural advisor in the advertising industry for over 20 years after beginning at Saatchi & Saatchi in 1997. 

“We want to create authentic and empowering Māori content that comes from a knowing place and speaks to our people.  We're really excited about the opportunities our AoG appointment brings for us and all the other Māori and Pasifika agencies, it's our time to really make a difference in the advertising industry,” he says. 

New Zealand Government Procurement said one of the key benefits of the panel refresh is it supports broader outcomes by increasing access for Māori and New Zealand owned businesses to government opportunities. 

Te Puni Kōkiri Progressive Procurement lead Kellee Koia says it is exciting to see Māori businesses being represented on the advertising and design panels.

“We knew there was a lot of talent and capability out there and supporting these businesses is one of the ways we’re trying to reduce the barriers to Māori business in engaging with government procurement processes,” she says. 

Photo Caption: Wawata Creative owners Inia Maxwell and Rongopai Stirling-Maxwell are a Rotorua based business that are passionate about creating authentic Maori content. They are pictured with one of their four kids  Kahu-Tarena in Waimangu Volcanic Valley while filming promotional vids for Rotorua NZ.