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Online Maori mall for Te Tai Hauauru goes live - Te Ropu Pakihi

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Hokohoko, a new online Māori Mall will provide hundreds of Māori businesses within the Te Tai Hauāuru region with the opportunity to come together to sell their products and services online. The mall will be launched on Thursday 28 May at an online business breakfast (8.30am).

Members of Te RōpÅ« Pakihi, the Kāpiti-Horowhenua Māori business network held weekly online breakfast sessions to support each other through COVID-19 lockdown alert levels 2-4 and identified that many of their essential businesses didn’t have e-commerce facilities.

While Māori businesses around the country are promoting their products through Facebook and other social media, the sales transaction is completed manually through email. Hokohoko takes care of both the promotion and the sales transaction with no fuss and at very little cost with the added assurance that their property rights are protected.

Local IT specialist Ty Kahu approached NZ firm Storbie Limited to help with the build, he said "we realised that when you have a website, it’s one website amongst millions of others and you have to drive traffic to that site on your own. The beauty of Hokohoko is that 250 e-stores will all drive consumers to the Mall where they’ll be able to see all of our products and services under the one roof".

Hokohoko emerged from the breakfasts and can potentially support up to 250 e-stores each with up to 500 products or services that can be purchased online. Te Rōpū Pakihi Chair, Daphne Luke says, "A distinctive element of this Mall is that the Network will wrap a business growth and development programme around the e-stores to support Māori business and local employment through the coming recession." People will be able to shop online following the launch at www.hokohoko.maori.nz.

Te Puni Kōkiri has supported Te Rōpū Pakihi to engage and support an initial 23 business operators to develop their e-stores for the launch and the business development programme. These first businesses range from headstone designers to jewellery makers and from restaurants and bakers to carvers and printers. The majority of these first adopters are based in Kapiti and Horowhenua. In coming weeks Te Rōpū Pakihi will work with neighbouring Māori business networks to connect Māori businesses from the top of the South Island to Taranaki.

George Reedy, Chairman of Māori technology investment company, Hautaki Limited committed to fund the build. He said, "the next few years are going to really difficult for New Zealand businesses and we need to do everything we can to support our Māori businesses and Māori employment. Hautaki sees Hokohoko as a pilot and will now go on to work with other regions to establish their own online malls."

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