Sunday, November 22, 2015

Ian Taylor on the 'Maori economic engine'...

Maori businessman Ian Taylor speaks out at Te Tau Ihu O Te Waka A Maui 2015 Economic Summit. Taylor thinks the Maori economic engine isn't doing enough for young Maori.

Our Pakeha friends and whanaunga could say the same about NZ Inc.

The so-called Maori economy referred to in this article stems from a model by BERL published n 2011 (based on 2010 data), updated in 2015 (based on 2013 data). The majority of this $42,573 billion 'economy' is made of Maori employers ($23,433b). $6,647b is self-employed Maori. The raw data are culled from Stats NZ census data (ie if an employer or self-employed person identifies as Maori, then their business is added to the BERL Maori economy). Trusts and Incorporations make up $12,493b. This sector is the one that most of us have a dog in the fight for, that is it is based on Maori land with Maori collective ownership.

Taylor says 'the "economic engine" comprising an estimated $40 billion in Maori-owned tourism, fisheries, agriculture, forestry and other industries was not delivering on the strategy for Maori economic development drawn up in 2012...'

Well since when did capitalist players do anything other than seek profit for their own ends (this 'profit' can include cultural outcomes of course).

I also see Taylor's sector - IT - has received specific Maori funding of $30m over 6 years. I'm not opposed to this - corporate welfare seems to be a necessary but insufficient condition for any successful economy - but why isn't that sector 'self-funding' if it is so great? (Okay, farming is also subsidised through breaks in carbon credits, and fishing had a few golden years of cheap Asian labour, and forestry gets away with, if not murder, then manslaughter...)

Ian Taylor is doing sterling work, no doubt. I guess he sits within the Maori employer bracket? And I absolutely agree with him that we need our rangatahi getting into software and robotics (indeed I wrote a futurist piece on this for a chapter on Maori leadership with my friends and colleagues Jamie Ataria and Melanie Mark-Shadbolt). 

But maybe the 29% of the Maori economy is doing all it can do?! And if each individual Maori employer or self-employed Maori hired one more Maori, and provided them with a living wage and training, well maybe that would lift this entire 'sector' in a way that would solve some of the issues he identifies?

1 comment:

GinaScott said...

Great commentary on this!

Simon Lambert

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