Arama Kukutai epitomises the new breed of leader in Maoridom – those who are well educated and forthright and are building the bridge between two commercial cultures.
As general manager of corporate services with the New Zealand Trade Development Board, he’s responsible for finance, information management, strategic development and communications. But his career isn’t limited to corporate culture.
The energetic Kukutai always has number of projects on the go. The Commerce/Law graduate is actively involved in range of commercial and community activities. He is chairman and director for number of Maori Trusts and businesses, and is also the founding member and current treasurer of the National Maori Business Network, body for l8 Maori business networks involving over 2000 people.
After early career years as management lecturer, business analyst and consultant, and financial manager, Kukutai started with the New Zealand Trade Development Board six years ago, to develop Maori exporting businesses, which now claim $300 million in export earnings. Three years ago he took up his present position which has meant leading the organisation’s e-business strategy. This involved getting the board up and running as an e-business in its 45-plus locations worldwide. This is designed to give Trade New Zealand leadership role in encouraging and helping New Zealand exporters, particularly SMEs, to do business on the web. In addition to these responsibilities, Kukutai serves as secretary to the organisation’s board of directors. All this at 33 – and you get the feeling he has barely started yet!

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