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Opportunities for Māori to access premium market: Results from a Māori agribusiness survey

July 2019

This report outlines the constraints on Māori agribusinesses accessing premium markets and mechanisms for overcoming constraints. The report is based on a survey of Māori agribusiness.

This report will cover the opportunities for Māori to access premium markets, using insights gained the literature, interviews and survey data. The literature demonstrates that there are premium markets for products that are produced in a manner that embraces the attributes that indigenous people value. In the Māori context these attributes include kaitiakitanga (environmental stewardship), manaakitanga (kind, generous, and respectful relationships), whanaungatanga (familial connection and belonging) and whai rawa (wealth accumulation for future generations).

However, to access premium markets there needs to be existing market channels between values-based producers and the consumers seeking their products. To achieve this goal, shared values, leadership, coordination, and communication across a supply chain is needed. Apart from a handful of industry examples this is not done well in New Zealand. The need for whole-of-supply-chain governance in New Zealand is commonly referred to in the research literature.

Māori agribusinesses are typically seen as more disadvantaged than non-Māori agribusinesses when it comes to premium market channel access. Māori land is often remote with few options to accessing processors with optimal supply chain arrangements. Further, Māori land trusts and incorporations are often too small and spread apart to vertically integrate and establish their own processing facilities, brands, and market channels.

There is little data regarding the level of access Māori agribusinesses have to premium market channels, their strategies for accessing them, or the access barriers they experience.

The purpose of this report is to provide this data; and to provide insight into how Māori producers might better connected with the premium consumers seeking their products.

Report for Our Land and Water National Science Challenge

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