Six universities deliver a ‘game changing’ Master of Māori and Indigenous Business degree

03 November 2017
Bernie O'Donnell
Māori media professional Bernie O'Donnell is enrolled in the new Master programme

Responding to the need for top-level business expertise and leadership within the burgeoning Māori economy - now worth over $42 billion and growing faster than the wider New Zealand economy - the Business Schools at the University of Auckland, Auckland University of Technology, Massey University, the University of Otago, Victoria University of Wellington and the University of Waikato are joining forces to offer a new, part-time online Master of Māori and Indigenous Business in 2018.

The programme arose out of a 2012 Māori Economic Development Task Force report that identified business education as the main driver for Māori economic growth.

Professor Greg Whittred, Deputy Chair of the Māori Economic Development Task Force and former Dean of the University of Auckland Business School, worked with his fellow deans and Māori thought-leaders to conceive an advanced business qualification for leaders and managers in the Māori and Indigenous economies. The six universities consulted widely with businesses and iwi in designing the programme.

This is the first time so many universities have collaborated on a degree programme. This collaboration signals a significant step change that will deliver benefits that have not before been realised.

Professor PAre Keiha, AUT
Professor Pare Keiha

Professor Pare Keiha from Auckland University of Technology, a founding member of the collaboration, says evidence of dramatic change is all around.

“All these shifts and disruptions mean that we live in a time of great promise and great peril. We will need to draw on the work of our predecessors to retain our identity and footprint, while cultivating new ways of thinking,” he says.

“This programme will provide a platform for Māori and those who have an interest in accelerating the social, political and economic wealth of New Zealand. Tikanga Māori will underpin and drive teaching and learning, fostering an ability to do the things we dream of and to retell our way to self-determined success.”

Associate Professor Mānuka Henare of the University of Auckland says: “Māori have always been early adopters. The online environment blended with a two-day wānanga at the start of the programme will allow optimal flexibility for students who may be running a business or managing whānau, hapū or iwi organisations.”

Manuka Henare portrait Aug 2017
Associate Professor Mānuka Henare

“The environment will give access to high value mātauranga (knowledge, wisdom, understanding) delivered by some of the best Māori and Indigenous academics in Aotearoa. This is unprecedented in the tertiary sector; we need to seize the moment.”

Whāia e koe te iti kahurangi; ki te tūohu koe, me he maunga teitei.

Seek the treasure you value most dearly: if you bow down, let it be to a lofty mountain.

The programme starts April 2018 and is now open for applications. Please visit Pōwhiritia te ako ki a koutou – Let the learning come to you!



  • This programme is for anyone interested or involved in Māori and Indigenous business who is keen to turn their management experience into a postgraduate qualification. Students must have either a bachelor’s degree and three years’ management experience, or five years’ management experience if they do not have a degree.
  • A two-day wānanga (workshop) at the beginning of the academic year provides the opportunity for all students to meet and prepare for the programme. All subsequent classes will be delivered online, giving students the flexibility to study at a time and place that suits them. Students choose which university they enrol with, but the courses will be identical with the same lecturers, activities and assignments.
  • This programme takes two to five years to complete depending on each student’s prior management and study experience. Some scholarships are available.



Nicola Shepheard Media Adviser
Tel: 09 923 1515 Mob: 027 537 1319 Email: