Māori business profits continue strong growth

Māori authority businesses’ surplus before tax was almost $720 million in 2017, a record level for figures going back to 2012, according to Stats NZ. The surplus was achieved on an annual income of $3.4 billion, almost unchanged on 2016.

Māori authority businesses are businesses that manage Māori assets held in communal ownerships.

They range from larger farming, forestry, and fisheries companies to small land trusts.

“The role of Māori business and Māori economic development is an important driver of New Zealand’s economy, with strong connections to the land and sea,” national accounts senior manager Gary Dunnet says in a media release.

Māori authority businesses paid salaries and wages of about $470 million in 2017, down slightly on 2016, but up 36 percent on 2012.

The businesses’ assets grew six percent in 2017 to $20.1 billion. From 2012, assets have risen by almost $6 billion, a gain of about 40 percent.

Stats NZ said that Māori authority businesses own an increasing share of their growing assets, an indication of greater financial strength. Shareholders’ funds or owners’ equity was $14 billion in 2017, up from $9.6 billion in 2012.

Māori authority businesses are key contributors to the Māori economy, but these figures exclude other types of Māori businesses, such as many small and medium-sized enterprises and self-employed Māori.

This is because they are harder to reliably identify.

“This is a challenge we are actively working on with partners to improve future reports, and provide more informative and complete data,” Dunnet said.

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