Supplier Diversity Aotearoa Summit: Navigate 2021

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A mihi to all who have contributed to making today a success – starting with you!
As you have explored and navigated government procurement today you will hopefully have reflected on the journey of our people so far – and how you can make a difference to the direction we all take now.
The annual government spend was $42 billion when we embarked on the procurement journey last year. It is now just over $50 billion so we know Māori businesses being in procurement is going to make a real difference to the lives of Māori.
When I came to Parliament in 1999, I wanted to change the world. I wanted equity and tautoko for our people and I became so frustrated with the slow pace of politics that I left and stayed out for 15 years.
But, I came back because I still want the same things for our people and under this leadership I saw an opportunity to make a difference.
I regret we didn’t have a procurement target sooner – but I am pleased we have one now.
It is a different time in Aotearoa now – the whole world is different and the impacts of COVID 19 have forced us to change how we think, how we act and consider differently what we do. You have a role to play with government agencies to bring the change needed.
We all have to be courageous with this kaupapa – doing business with the government doesn’t just have to be about strict commercial factors.
There should be room for manaakitanga, aroha, karakia and te reo Māori.
I’m proud of what we have now achieved – celebrating Matariki, history in schools and now progressive procurement.
Shining a light on supplier diversity
Te Puni Kōkiri and Amotai are working together and will help you to gain access to and become ready to bid for government contracts.
It is a deliberate market access opportunity – to get Māori businesses to the government procurement door.
It makes absolute sense that we are looking to use government procurement in New Zealand to deliver wider social outcomes to our communities.
This Government wants to broaden its suppliers through its sourcing process to create benefits wider than just procurement.
International evidence shows that greater economic resilience and regional opportunities can be achieved when the very businesses that operate in our regions are actively involved in our economic recovery.
The Government wants you and your whānau, hapū and iwi Māori to be involved.
Māori businesses are generally more resilient than non-Māori businesses because they take an intergenerational view of their value, and they have strong social and environmental drivers. These are key advantages.
Increasing the diversity of suppliers for government to choose from means better social and economic outcomes for us all.
Growing a resilient Māori economy
I am sure Amotai will have shared with you some of the awesome enterprises and business partnerships they’ve supported through their mahi.
The initiatives they’ve delivered in South Auckland with the Southern Initiative have supported Māori and Pasifika whānau enterprise while creating meaningful relationships that deliver public value.
And not just Amotai have delivered for Maori. We’ve done it with Waatea, we’ve delivered Matariki day – never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined back in the day that this government would deliver a national holiday to celebrate Matariki – but we have because its solutions by Māori, for Māori and that’s what counts.  
And great to hear from Supply Nation on how their Indigenous Procurement Policy has generated more than $3 billion in economic activity for indigenous businesses in Australia.
We need to catalyse growth for all in New Zealand too.
For Māori, this means deepening and broadening the economic potential of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) because more than 60% of Māori GDP is produced by these enterprises.
But it’s also okay for us to fall over. It’s at that time that they will come for us and we have to be brave enough to get up again and have another crack at it.
I can see how the smart use of procurement and supply chains can deliver more public value.
It is a chance for workforce upskilling, employment, and contract opportunities for Māori and Pasifika.
Take the connections you made today and continue to learn from each other and share what you know.
And when you leave here today, know you will continue to have the tautoko of Te Puni Kōkiri and Amotai.  My officials are committed and will not be put off by the everyday attacks that will come our way – and they will come.
As for a value target – who knows, in 12 months it could be 10% but first, we have to get it right and make sure it’s right for everyone. And this means keeping your nerve – you have my full support, my agencies’ support and this government’s support.
I hope you leave today as inspired, as I am, by the power of progressive procurement.
Nō reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.
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