Posts Tagged ‘innovation’

The $37 billion problem, or opportunity?

November 17, 2011

The New Zealand government commissioned a study released this year that estimated the size of the Maori economy at $37 billion. Up from around $16 billion when last measured in 2006. Now this sounds impressive. But, the study pointed out that the $37 billion should be much larger than this if Maori assets that are concentrated in the primary sector. These assets underperform their non-Maori equivalent assets that is, they don’t have the same level of productivity. The study pointed out that Innovation and technology were key to lifting the productivity of these assets.

Where the study fell short however, it didn’t say how to do this i.e. get Maori asset owners engaged practically with the New Zealand Innovation system and what are the challenges that Iwi/Maori face in trying to interface with this system. This interface represents a significant barrier to Iwi/Maori trying to break into this space and until someone starts thinking about this, $37 billion Maori asset will continue to underperform or, at best stagger and splutter along.

Now that’s not good for either Maori or, the New Zealand economy at large. Is it?

What do you think?

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