Reserve Bank report shows Māori economy rose 37 percent to 2018

Business is booming in the Māori economy, according to a Reserve Bank report released Thursday.

Māori business grew nearly twice as fast as the rest of the country between 2013 and 2018, and it may be better placed to deal with COVID-19.

Wakatū's Tohu Wines is the world's first Māori wine company.

Worth 11 million dollars in 1977, Whakatu is worth $350 million today.

"We've applied that methodology for 40 years and come from nothing to where we are today," Wakatū Chair Paul Morgan told Newshub.

Agriculture, fishing and forestry have long been the backbone of the Māori economy.

But it's changing - and growing fast.

The Reserve Bank report reveals business was booming in the 5 years to 2018.

"I think that there is a real story to be told about the Māori economy and we're hearing it now," Federation of Māori Authorities chairperson Traci Houpapa said.

The country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rose 20 percent between 2013 and 2018.

But that figure was nearly twice as great for Māori - 37 percent.

"What this report highlights is the Māori economy was at the heart of that and a driving force," Assistant Reserve Bank Governor Christian Hawkesby said.

Those rosy figures came pre-COVID and some Māori businesses are doing it tough.

Ngāi Tahu runs the Shotover Jet and a number of our biggest tourism businesses.

"It was devastating for all of us in the industry, to go back down to zero," Ngāi Tahu CEO Mike Pohio said.

But other investments in primary industries and property kept Ngāi Tahu Holdings afloat this year.

A resilient and roaring Māori economy - not just surviving but beginning to thrive.