On 6 November, the Ngāi Tahu Māori Law Centre Inc was named the winner of the 2014 Māori Business Award, at the Westpac Otago Chamber of Commerce Business Awards, held in Dunedin.

The Māori Business Award was sponsored by Ngāi Tahu Holdings Corporation and it was the first time that the Ngāi Tahu Māori Law Centre had entered the prestigious awards.

Ngāi Tahu Māori Law Centre, manager, Joy Smith, says they are extremely pleased with the results and that it is was an honour to be the recipient of the award.
“These awards do lift our profile – I’ve already had people congratulate me,” she says.

“We’ve got a very skilled team and we also offer a mediation service . We are unique. There are no other organisations like us in New Zealand.”

She adds that the kaupapa of their application was around sustainability of Māori land.

The other two finalists were Dunedin-based businesses, Arai Te Uru Whare Hauora and Blue Penguins Pukekura.

Richard Kerr-Bell, who assisted on the awards judging panel, says all of the applications were of a high standard but the application from the Ngāi Tahu Māori Law Centre stood out.

“Their leadership has been stable for a long time and they had undertaken training. We felt that they also had strong leadership on the ground.”

“The purpose of the award is to acknowledge Māori businesses and for some of them it certainly lifts their profile. It also provides more marketing and awareness to the Māori businesses,” says Richard.

The awards have been held every two years since 1998. The next awards ceremony will be in 2016.

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