Monday, February 06, 2017

Maori Economy on Waitangi Day

Image result for mARIA BARGH BOOK

The Maori Economy discourse continues its momentum - ie the Common Knowledge on Maori economic functioning expands - yet the fragility of Maori communities remains.

Here's a good article on the diverse components of this economy, and respect to Dr. Maria Bargh on highlighting such 'under-the-radar' contributions to the PMS (Private Military Security).

But this $42b sector amounts to just over 6% of the NZ economy and as the new PM sez, the government has reached the limits of what is can (by what he means will) do for Maori. So we gotta pay our way.

User pays remember.

Downhill I'm afraid...

But there is one area where we can get an empirical understanding: "And there are stats to show that Maori business people are innovators. The rate of innovation in small to medium Maori businesses, with 100 or fewer employees, was 63%, Statistics New Zealand figures show. That is considerably higher than the 'whole' of New Zealand business rate of 49%."

'Innovation', like 'sustainability' and 'resilience' are things you just have to say you are, regardless of the definition or auditing.

An innovation is a new idea, object or activity. It can also be a rediscovered idea, object or activity (and in this conceptualisation, Indigenous Peoples can really bring some change!).

But I rarely, if ever, see commentators discuss empirical innovations.

Hybrid corn varieties were one of the classic case studies, and one Maori can identify with (Zvi Griliches work was among the seminal publications). We - as in NZers - have come up with some seriously valuable innovations in agribusiness.

But we now import considerable inputs to our main sector (Palm Kernel Extract for example). We are, if anything, late adopters of best practice agriculture. Our 'clean, green image' is now completely trashed internally and subject to dispute externally. Our increasing inequality is yet another symptom of a dysfunctional society.

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And through all of this, the Maori Economy is to not just maintain our communities but improve their situation?!

Ain't gonna happen without significant transfer of wealth from individuals with wealth to those without. Which political parties promise that?

Simon Lambert

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