ECG features at Supplier Diversity Summit 2023
Amotai, Aotearoa's supplier diversity intermediary held its yearly Navigators Summit with the theme of continually growing a diverse supply chain by bringing together the three kite baskets - past, present and future- for a better tomorrow.
Inspirational keynote speaker Kristal Kinsela of Jawoyn and Wiradjuri nations, shared how she has grown her consulting business from a sole trader to creating $6.9 billion in economic activity for the Indigenous business sector in Australia.
Her key messages included:
Know what the “why” is for your business.
Activate relational engagement as a long term reciprocal goal
Understand that indigenous businesses thrive by placing emphasis on People, Culture and connecting with Heart.
Kinsela also discussed the impact of “Black cladding”, the practice of a non-Indigenous business entity or individual taking unfair advantage of an Indigenous business entity or individual for the purpose of gaining access to otherwise inaccessible Indigenous procurement policies or contracts.
During the summit both Buyers and Suppliers shared their insights into Procurement with panels and Q & A sessions. Amotai launched “Tere ki tai” , the world’s first indigenous buyer maturity matrix, created to build a shared understanding of what it takes for government, the corporate sector and businesses to achieve their supplier diversity goals. This was a key building block for Amotai as an organisation working with government, corporate and Iwi organisations to unlock procurement opportunities and enable meaningful connections with Māori and Pasifika businesses.
The closing panel for the summit was the highly anticipated discussion around “Embracing Te Ao Māori”. ECG Director Sara-Jane Elika shared her insights on the panel around Moana peoples connection to Māori and Te Tiriti.
Interviewed by Julian Wilcox, Sara-Jane shared her thoughts in the Q & A discussion;
Q: You’ve recently come back from Canada (CSC Duke of Edinburgh leaders conference), tell us about the commonalities between indigenous peoples the world over?
A: It was refreshing to see global leaders and organisations being open to talk about indigeneity and learning about difference. This was a global leadership conference and the collective desire to want to see and hear from indigenous people and have these perspectives amplified was empowering. One of the key commonalities for me was learning about the ‘7 indigenous teachings’ from the first nations people in Canada as guiding principles for harmonious living represented through core values and symbols for personal development, community well-being, and environmental stewardship .
Q: As a proud Samoan women, what do you think your role is in embracing Te Ao Māori? How does this play out in the way you do business?
I’m proudly connected to my Polynesian Heritage. My dad migrated from Samoa at 17 and met my Pakeha mother. I'm NZ born and recognise that I am tangata tiriti – people of the Treaty (non-Māori). At ECG we have created a Te Tiriti matrix which is designed to acknowledge the partnership with Māori and the place as Tangata Whenua – people of the land (Māori), with our own values in business. For example - we value bringing equity into our work space and through our value of Fa’aaloalo (Respect), ask the question that when kaupapa within business include Māori perspectives that we seek that voice and bring it to the table.
Māori and Pasifika peoples are connected by Moana nui ā kiwa. Can you elaborate on this concept?
The moana-nui a kiwa connection is the Pacific Ocean where Pacific Peoples of different countries have their own cultural customs but have a shared Polynesian Indigeneity which extends to Aotearoa. Māori and Pacific peoples have been in business and trading for thousands of years, for me being Samoan, our people have been in Samoa for over 2500 years. There is a special relationship between the ‘tuakana’ or the elder siblings and ‘teina/ taina’ the younger siblings in our Polynesian ancestry.