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Key Maori Businesses recognised as good employers

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Forestry Minister Shane Jones has this evening presented the Māori Agribusiness Awards at the Primary Industries Good Employer Awards, which salute the achievements of these and other Maori companies operating in the primary sector.

"One Northland company, Forestry Protection Services Ltd, owned by Kevin and Kylie Ihaka, was voted the winner in the overall Employee Development category and was highly commended in the overall Safety and Healthy Work Environment Award," Shane Jones said.

"Their Tupu Ake programme - delivered in partnership with North Tec and Te Matarau Education Trust - offers Rangatahi the chance to develop life skills and qualifications while in full time paid work and, in the highly seasonal forestry industry, also offers year round employment. The company, operating in a high risk industry, has an outstanding safety record. As Minister of Forestry, it is great to see a company in the industry performing so well.

"The largest wholly Māori owned fishing company, Moana, which concentrates on the inshore fishery, is the winner of the overall Safe and Healthy Work Environment Award. They received the award for going above and beyond formal requirements to develop Hikoi ki te Ora, a wrap around approach to health and wellness that extends to exercise, nutrition, mental wellness and budgeting. And the programme incorporates whanau and the communities where their employees are based.

"The winner of the Māori Agribusiness Award, the dairy processing company, Miraka, has been a standout performer in the field of Māori agribusiness since it was established in 2009, building a viable export-led company for its Māori shareholders that exports to Vietnam and China. It is great to see that Miraka’s business have been built on a foundation of outstanding employment practises.

"These include incorporating an annual powhiri to welcome new staff, their whanau, suppliers and contractors, the creation of a Miraka staff haka and patere. Miraka also recognises achievement with annual Whānau Awards and back up their emphasis on health and safety with training to ensure staff can carry out their jobs safely.

"I congratulate Miraka CEO Richard Wyeth, Miraka Chair Kingi Smiler and the Māori incorporations and trusts who are Miraka’s shareholders for their achievement in winning this award.

"I also congratulate Zac and Rochelle Te Ahuru whose company, Ruapehu Agricultural Development Services, was the highly commended entrant in the Māori Agribusiness category. In business since 2004, RADS has an innovative remuneration policy that ensures staff benefit when the company benefits, that staff have the training that ensures they remain safe when carrying out their jobs, and they have the opportunity to make progress through Competenz in developing their skills.

"Good businesses provide the foundation for a prosperous community. It is great to see Māori businesses recognised that fully understand the connection between their wellbeing and the wellbeing of their employees, their whānau and their wider communities. They are outstanding New Zealand Companies," Shane Jones said.

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