Small Business & Community Economic Development

Each year people finish training courses and programmes with the goal of being self-employed or setting up their own small business or cooperative venture – and often with the goal of employing family and friends to share in the venture together.

Greater support from government, local government, and iwi and community agencies is needed to assist with start-up and remaining viable.

Opportunities exist in the sustainable production of goods and services such as food, transport, energy, building and construction, IT, creative arts and design, broadcasting, the revitalisation and promotion of te reo Maori, and socially and environmentally nurturing projects.

Our policy priorities are to:

  • Invest in and better support Maori business enterprise
    • Build sustainable Maori businesses through both start-up and bridging funding for 3-5 years, and through the provision of quality business and financial mentoring.
    • National Maori business coordination and infrastructure development.
    • Development (and possible broader application) of the Toi Iho Maori Trademark of Quality and Authenticity.
  • Support small business start-up and viability
    • Establish a Small Business Development Network to provide business development courses, assist in putting together viable business plans, give ongoing mentoring, and assist in making applications to a small business start up fund administered through the Network.
    • Restore much wider access to the Business Training and Advice Grant provided through WINZ, and ensure that applicants have access to quality support through the Small Business Development Network.
    • Increase access to government start-up grants and low-interest loans to small businesses.
  • Support community economic development
    • Develop an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable economic development programme which encompasses national and regional development strategies and which enables communities to share ‘best practice’ with others.
    • Restore a community economic development function to government, lost when the Community Employment Group was disbanded in 2005, and appropriate funding via accessible loans and grants schemes to support the development of community enterprises.
    • Establish a government backed community-owned banking network, either as a new entity or as a non-profit, stand-alone part of Kiwibank, to provide capital for the development of community enterprises which support job creation, and the meeting of social, cultural and environmental needs.
  • Prioritise New Zealand owned businesses
    • Develop procurement policies that favour local products and services for government, local government and state owned enterprises.
    • Withdraw New Zealand from free trade agreements that favour multinationals over local production or prevent support for locally owned businesses.
    • Terminate all current negotiations for free trade and investment agreements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, and instead develop alternative agreements for collaboration based on wellbeing and sustainability – including with other Indigenous Peoples.
    • Require any foreign investment to satisfy a Te Tiriti o Waitangi impact assessment and approval from mana whenua.
  • Prioritise sustainable development
    • Change the legal framework under which businesses operate to make sustainability and ethics paramount in business decision making.
    • Prioritise investment in:
      • Community and localised food production and self sufficiency, including organic and hua parakore foods.
      • Public transport systems in cities, towns, and rural areas.
      • Development of widespread, small scale sustainable energy generation such as solar, wind and micro-hydro by households and communities.
      • Development of a national biofuels programme for land, including Maori land that is unsuitable for growing food.
      • Environmentally sustainable and low cost, low tech housing projects.
      • Revitalisation and promotion of te reo Maori.
      • Other socially and environmentally nurturing projects such as the regeneration of native forests
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