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Consultation and feedback

This chapter summarises what we wanted to learn from the consultation, how we consulted, and the feedback we received.

Learning more about our Māori business customers

Tatauranga Umanga Māori’s goal is to be able to provide regular official business and economic statistics about Māori authorities. We needed to learn more about:

  • how to better identify Māori authorities
  • developing useful statistics on Māori authorities based on existing data collections
  • what other information about Māori businesses our customers would like.

See Tatauranga Umanga Māori – Consultation paper (2012) for detailed information about the consultation.

Identifying Māori authorities

The project has challenged us to consider how we could:

  • identify more Māori authorities, more easily
  • include Māori authorities in certain survey samples
  • improve the quality of data about Māori authorities.

We used a definition of Māori business that built on previous work and focused on businesses that manage collectively-owned assets and/or are ‘by Māori for Māori’. Broadly this included:

  • Māori authorities
  • commercial businesses that support a Māori authority’s business and social activities, and sustain or build a Māori authority’s asset base.

Note: From this point on, we use the term ‘Māori business’ to define those businesses identified above.

Using existing data

The project initially looked at what information about Māori businesses we could provide from existing data. We quickly came up against previously recognised challenges of defining and identifying Māori businesses, so we consulted to get feedback on how to address these challenges.

Asking about customers’ data needs

In our consultation with key stakeholders, we decided to set boundaries for the potential discussion, using a working definition of Māori businesses and examples of potential information about Māori businesses we could provide from existing data collections.

See Appendix for the points we sought feedback on.

How we consulted

We consulted from May to August 2012 to test the level of comfort with the current definition of Māori authorities, and to gauge interest in the type of information that could be provided to Māori stakeholders from the current systems.

We used the consultation paper, an online survey, and face-to-face meetings to seek feedback on:

  • working definitions and issues
  • usefulness of data that could be provided
  • future demand.

We are aware that Māori social organisations such as whānau, hapū, and iwi, including urban Māori, have variable relationships with the Māori authorities they collectively own. While there may be broader implications that could be drawn from respondents’ feedback about Māori collectively-own entities, this report is primarily concerned with Māori businesses.

The initial response to our 2012 online survey was poor, despite notifying interested parties (eg iwi). We had a similarly poor response from key economic commentators.

We held presentations and interviews with representatives from key organisations in the Māori economy, and therefore those likely to be interested in our focus on data collection and use. We presented to some iwi leaders, Māori peak bodies (including the Federation of Māori Authorities and the National Urban Māori Authority), and lead organisations involved in business including post-Treaty settlement, asset management, and Māori land-based entities, Māori researchers, and the Māori Economic Development Panel.

The presentations followed the format of the consultation paper. The few online survey comments that we received, and the feedback from the meetings, did not always directly refer to the content of the presentation. Rather, respondents referred to datasets that were important to them, and highlighted their expectations about the way ahead.

Feedback on consultation topics

Focus on Māori authorities confirmed

Respondents agreed the focus on Māori authorities was a sensible and practical starting point. The general consensus was that a Māori authority is an entity that meets the current Inland Revenue eligibility criteria to be a Māori authority, irrespective of whether it elects to be an MA for tax purposes.

Respondents also agreed that the scope of a Māori authority should include any commercial business that supports the Māori authority's business and social activities, and sustains or builds a Māori authority’s asset base.

See Tatauranga Umanga Māori – Consultation paper (2012), Appendix 1, to find out which organisations are eligible for Māori authority status.

Differing views on best ways to gather data about Māori businesses

Respondents offered mixed views about how to increase Māori participation in current surveys. This mostly reflected concerns about defaulting to non-Māori views about the types of information that are useful to Māori.

Although most respondents shared a pragmatic view to use currently available data in the interim, they also expected Statistics NZ to develop and implement a Māori-centric approach.

Ideally, respondents wanted to see us make genuine progress developing and implementing Māori-centric outputs in a reasonable timespan.

Differences in kinds of data respondents want

Respondents tended to fall under one of three interest areas for information they would find useful:

  • national statistics
  • more detailed statistics (eg iwi and rohe (tribal area))
  • both national and more detailed statistics.

At least one out of five respondents felt that a strategic/future trends perspective should influence the type of data we collect and provide. They wanted macro-level and micro-level information such as the Māori contribution to the New Zealand economy (GDP), reporting on the economy of a Māori collective (eg iwi or urban Māori), and more comprehensive coverage and depth of data in iwi profiles.

In comparison, four out of five respondents could be content with social, cultural, economic, and environmental data showing national, regional, and local trends for Māori, presented in booklets and pamphlets, snapshots, and media releases.

Additional feedback

This section summarises feedback that raised pertinent issues beyond the main focus of our consultation.

Expectations on speed of change

Few respondents expected a significant shift in a very short timeframe. Some respondents expected genuine progress to develop and implement Māori-centric information within a reasonable timespan. As a starting point, most respondents expected to use data that can be readily accessed at the moment.

Respondents need better understanding of the Business Frame

Some respondents appeared uncomfortable with perceived constraints on the work at this stage, which they linked to the project being primarily driven by the Business Frame. However, we consider the Business Frame just one foundation stone among many that are yet to emerge, which we expect will work together to provide Māori business statistics longer-term.

Business Frame rules insufficient for Māori businesses

Business ownership is considered an important characteristic of Māori businesses, but not sufficient in itself to identify a Māori business. Moreover, respondents do not believe the 51 percent shareholding marker captures the diversification of Māori interests in different commercial ventures. Some respondents felt the ownership interest should be acknowledged at all proportions: 10 percent; 25 percent,; 50 percent,; and 51 percent, or more, up to 100 percent.

Some respondents suggested another useful marker could be the level of control and influence held by the business owners, and possibly others.

Using such a marker of ownership based on level of investment, and governance based on control through voting rights, might assure more comprehensive coverage of all commercial business under the control and direction of a Māori authority.

These alternative approaches to identifying a Māori business would present practical issues around data collection and reporting.

Current structures do not meet information needs of Māori SMEs

Respondents associated with small to medium enterprises (SMEs) gave noticeably more criticism of the current working definition of a Māori business, and of Statistics NZ generally. An example of this criticism focused on Māori who are highly represented within the tourism sector as employees and employers. Despite tourism being a sector where the Māori economy is likely to continue to grow, some respondents noted that our current processes make it difficult to access even generic information about the tourism sector. In addition, current structures that do not prioritise information from a Māori perspective can be an extra barrier where the Māori presence in different sectors differs from those in the overall economy.

Clarify our definition of Māori business

Respondents offered wide-ranging views on our definition of a Māori business. Some emphasised strongly the need for us to remove potential confusion and state that this project is currently focused only on Māori authorities. We could further acknowledge that a Māori authority is a Māori business, but a Māori business is not necessarily a Māori authority. We could amend our terminology in future to refer to different groups such as ‘Māori in business’.

Some respondents also appeared to consider the Business and Economic Research Limited (BERL) definition of Māori business the same as Statistics NZ’s definition, and to equate research with official statistics. We may need to clarify these distinctions.

Most respondents believed our approach to defining a Māori business is pragmatic because it uses an existing and recognised yardstick, removing uncertainty. It also brings into scope any Māori business under the control and direction of a Māori authority. Māori authorities’ lack of comprehensive and consistent use of Inland Revenue tax codes reserved for MAs reinforces our view that other information sources will be needed, at least initially, to improve our identification of Māori businesses.

Features attributed to Māori authorities

Most respondents attributed a number of features to Māori authorities. Firstly, they are based on traditional whakapapa (belonging) connections, and to whenua (place) – including maunga, awa, whenua, and moana. Secondly, they are monitored according to kawa (values and principles) and tikanga (behaviours and practices). These entities are established to receive, manage, and/or administer assets held in common ownership by Māori. More importantly, a Māori authority is, first and foremost, expected to be mindful of the tūpuna (ancestral) relationships and responsibilities to place, and the health and well-being of the collective (kotahitanga).

Improve identification of Māori businesses

Respondents were aware of the complexities of identifying Māori businesses, in particular, that not all Māori businesses are registered with the Inland Revenue for tax purposes. Some respondents welcomed a pragmatic approach to achieve ‘quick wins’ in identifying Māori businesses so they could be included in current surveys.

As a result of this feedback, we recommend a more ‘hands-on’ approach to include non-Inland Revenue registered Māori businesses in current and future surveys.

One respondent suggested it may be more practical to organise the project on Māori businesses into three strands:

  • MAs on Inland Revenue register and subsidiaries
  • Māori authorities identified by manual investigation and subsidiaries
  • other Māori businesses and subsidiaries identified by manual investigation.

Other ideas for identifying Māori authorities

Respondents suggested the following possible future sources for identifying Māori authorities: Te Puni Kōkiri (TPK), Māori Land Court (MLC), Māori Trustee (MT), Charities Commission, Te Ohu Kaimoana (TOKM) and Crown Forest Rental Trust (CFRT).

Some respondents were possibly less aware of the extent that Statistics NZ’s work has been dependent on manual investigation, but they did seem aware of the limitations of Inland Revenue’s MA tax categorisations, and the need to use alternative sources of information to identify Māori authorities.

Two types of data wanted

Many respondents want data that usefully informs the multiple planning and decision-making roles of Māori authorities. Most respondents appear to be thinking about statistical data in one of two ways or, in some cases, both ways at the same time, or in overlapping phases. 

  1. ‘By Statistics NZ, through consultation with Māori, for Māori’ – to increase the number of Māori included in surveys already used for all New Zealanders (eg the Māori contribution to the New Zealand economy).
  2. ‘By Māori, in partnership with Statistics NZ, for Māori’ – to build data collections with ‘Māori-centric’ surveys (eg information that could be used to report on an iwi economy).

Most respondents were willing to make use of what is currently available, while still expecting us to develop and implement a Māori-centric approach at a later stage. To use existing data, we would need to pass a Māori-focused lens over it to ensure it is meaningful.

A Māori-centric approach would begin with a kaupapa and tikanga framework to explain Māori behaviour that underpins this need for data. Tatauranga Umanga Māori – Consultation paper (2012) highlights this as a topic for future research.

Using administrative data

Several respondents saw the review of the Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993 as an opportunity to link to an administrative data source, and felt it was an important process for Statistics NZ to engage with.

A few respondents took a view of ‘collectivism’ from a more modern sense, noting that the government has responded to how Māori communities work by formally recognising ‘by Māori as Māori’ businesses. They highlighted the need to examine how far government is engaging with these newly emerging ‘urban-based’ collectives through contracting their services, and suggested this was leading to a new form of collectively managed Māori assets in urban environments.

These respondents suggested we should examine the datasets of the Ministries of Health and Social Development that contract services from these urban-based entities, to see the extent this subset fits within the definition of Māori businesses.

Expanding data collections for future demand

In response to the question about the types of information that might be useful, respondents expected to access and use data from Māori-specific surveys (possibly a future consideration), and/or outputs from current surveys and administrative data sources such as the Annual Enterprise Survey (AES), Linked Employer-Employee Data (LEED), Balance of Payments (BoP), and Overseas Merchandise Trade (OMT). Areas of interest included:

  • Māori well-being and Māori wealth excluding housing stocks
  • more information on absolute statistics (rather than comparative statistics)
  • Māori in employment, including statistics on Māori employees
  • Māori home ownership
  • value of ‘benefits in kind’ in Treaty settlements
  • tax funds used to stimulate the private sector and the economy
  • performance of the education system for Māori
  • iwi profiles with a broader set of data including iwi economy and well-being
  • contribution of marae to the well-being and cohesion of communities
  • Māori contribution to New Zealand trade figures
  • extending the agricultural production tables for Federation of Māori Authorities to include Ahu Whenua trusts.

Data linking

Respondents frequently referenced the quadruple bottom-line reporting expected of Māori authorities. There is a need to have information from one area linked to and comparable with other areas.

Note: Quadruple bottom-line in this report refers to financial, social, environmental, and cultural outcomes of business perfor

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