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Appendix 2: Māori business self-identification in the Business Operation Survey

In this appendix, we describe the benefits of a new self-identification question, which we suggest could also be used by other agencies in the Official Statistics System.

There is a growing demand from Māori organisations and their government partners for better statistics relating to businesses owned and operated by Māori.

The challenge is how to identify those businesses in order to then provide statistics to address their needs.
With the help of our partners the Poutama Trust and NZ Māori Tourism, we expanded our coverage in Tatauranga Umanga Māori 2016: Statistics on Māori businesses beyond Māori authorities identified by tax criteria (used in 2012).

We are also trying other avenues for identifying Māori businesses.

In 2015, we introduced a two-part question into the 2015 Business Operations Survey, asking Māori businesses to self-identify and to indicate what factors significantly influenced that decision (see appendix figure 2). This was the first time we took such a direct approach to identifying Māori business.

Appendix figure 2

Māori Business Self-identification Question added to the Business Operations Survey 2015
Figure, Māori Business Self-identification Question added to the Business Operations Survey 2015

The 2015 Business Operations Survey also oversampled Māori authorities so we could gain additional understandings of Māori businesses. It confirmed our understanding that ownership (85 percent) is the leading factor for businesses identifying as Māori. This was followed by tikanga, philosophy, principles, goals (62 percent); employees (53 percent); management practices (40 percent); branding and marketing (35 percent); intangible assets or kaupapa Māori (32 percent); and tangible assets or taonga a iwi (29 percent).

Overall, the exercise identified an additional 99 Māori businesses. These findings contributed to our redevelopment of our working definition of Māori business.

See: How we identified and measured Māori SMEs.

The findings of the Māori Business self-identification question showed the exercise was a success, delivering a proven resource that can be used with other surveys or as required across government.

Other agencies in the Official Statistics System can take up the question and, using their data collection operations, help Statistics NZ identify more Māori businesses and improve the Māori business statistics it provides. 
 

 

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