Greater Wellington commits to supplier diversity with Te Upoko o Te Ika a Māui

  • Published Date 28 May 2021

Greater Wellington councillors and Chief Executive Greg Campbell have signed Te Upoko o Te Ika a Māui Commitment, a region-wide agreement to use procurement as a tool for building social and economic prosperity.

Co-signed by Wellington City Council, Upper Hutt City Council, Porirua City Council, Hutt City Council, and Kāpiti Coast District Council, the Commitment will see councils setting targets and spending more among Māori, Pasifika and social enterprises.

Spending with diverse suppliers will help build local enterprise capability, grow our regional economy, create a more agile and resilient supply chain and provide confidence in the region's economic recovery.

Greater Wellington Chair Daran Ponter says with all the necessary pieces already in play, the time to act is now.  

"COVD-19 has had a disproportionately devastating impact on our Māori and Pasifika communities. Our actions now have the potential to decrease the length, strength, and severity of COVID’s impact for years to come. The decisions we make moving forward need to address the inequality we saw highlighted through COVID-19. It's about ensuring everyone has equal opportunity to prosper in a way that benefits the entire region," says Chair Ponter.

Research from Te Puni Kо̄kiri, The Ministry of Māori Development, predicts the Māori economy's contribution to the region's GDP will drop eight percent ($299 million) from 2020 to 2021. But there is evidence from Australia showing that spending with Indigenous suppliers may help mitigate this impact, and bring long-term economic prosperity.

"We've seen in Australia that every dollar spent with an Indigenous supplier can create $4.41 of economic and social value. That means if we focused 1% of the region's $1 billion dollar spending power with diverse suppliers, it could create $100 million of benefit to our region," adds Chair Ponter.

The Commitment is the brain-child of GovTech Accelerator, NZ’s government innovation programme run by Creative HQ. The project was developed to support the region's COVID recovery, but it also neatly aligns with the four aspects of community wellbeing (social, economic, environmental and cultural), as well as Te Matarau a Māui, the Māori Regional Economic Development Strategy.

In a video statement released today, Minister of Local Government Nanaia Mahuta described the Commitment as an exciting and transformative prospect in the world of procurement, and thanked the participating councils for contributing to this mahi.  

"A community wellbeing focus is fundamental to the region's sustainable future. This is about long term, intergenerational benefits for people and their communities in the place they choose to call home.  

"We know that when opportunities are accessible to all, the whole region thrives," said Minister Mahuta.

Updated March 30, 2022 at 2:03 PM

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