Dunno quite what to make of something Te Ururoa Flavell has been bleating about.
According to a newspaper report Alf read today, he was banging on about some outfit called Maori Inc.
Moreover, he was offering the leaders of this organisation some commercial advice.
But what is the extent of his commercial experience?
That would depend on what he did before becoming an MP, one imagines.
Mrs Grumble checked that out at Wikipedia:
He trained as a teacher, and taught at the secondary and tertiary level for many years. He later held a number of roles in the education sector, including school principal, and then worked as a consultant to various government agencies.
So what can business leaders learn from a teacher?
Well, they should put less emphasis on song-and-dance routines and get out and sell.
Business leaders need to put more than just a song and a haka on the global stage to capitalise on the Maori brand, Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell says.
Flavell happens to be an associate minister for economic development, of course, which puts him higher up the pecking order than Alf.
And so he should be taken seriously when he says Maori culture gives New Zealand a competitive edge, but kapa haka performances only scratch the surface of what Maori Inc have to offer.
“My view is this country has missed out on capturing what it means to have that Maori Inc associated with us,” Flavell said.
“Far too often we go overseas and do a haka and say ‘kia ora’ and all of that sort of carry-on, but still don’t appreciate that the X factor for this country is the Maori factor.”
Flavell was in Waikato this week, it seems, as part of a tour of the regions to speak with Maori business operators, Whanau Ora providers, ministry staff “and the community”.
The community should be pretty much everybody so let’s wish him well with that.
Especially when he says something puzzling
Here’s an example:
He said Maori had been locked out of the overseas opportunity, but it was part of the economic development strategy to take Brand Maori to the world.
How have they been locked out, exactly?
Has other countries put up racially discriminatory trade barriers that specify Maori goods would be unwelcome?
Not so silly, he discussed Maori business opportunities for growth and said small-to-medium businesses were important in the overall strategy.
“Everything doesn’t just rest with big companies,” he said.
it seems to boil down to advising the bosses of Maori Inc and all its subsidiaries that if they want to make a buck, they should get off their bums and go and make it.
What would be astonishing is that we have business people who don’t know that already.