A handful of socially conscious organisations have been including supplier diversity programmes in their approach to procurement. Earlier this month, the government announced the introduction of a 5% supplier diversity target on its spend and as the spotlight of supplier diversity brightens, so does the opportunity for Māori enterprises.
As the government’s appointed intermediary for supplier diversity, Amotai is working alongside two agencies keen to make progress in this area. The Provincial Development Unit (PDU) and Te Puni Kōkiri will work with Amotai to embed supplier diversity in hundreds of regional projects that were announced as part of the COVID-19 economic recovery programme.
“We know that organisations struggle with supplier diversity and that – for some – massive system changes will be required. Amotai is primed to offer robust support to help organisations get in the practice of procuring goods and services from diverse suppliers. We’ll be working with agencies such as the PDU to boost their efforts in this area, and maximise the opportunities they can offer to Māori and Pasifika enterprises.”
The PDU was established in 2018 within the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to support delivery of government funding that enhances economic development opportunities in regional New Zealand. As the impacts of COVID-19 were felt throughout the country, the PDU provided critical support to New Zealand’s economy and regions, so they could continue to grow and thrive.
The three-way partnership with Amotai and Te Puni Kōkiri, which is providing funding for the pilot social procurement programme, will help the PDU provide better support for regional New Zealand, says Director Regional Development Nicki Sutherland.
“The PDU is delighted to work with the Aotearoa New Zealand’s experts in supplier diversity. I’m confident the strategic, practical support Amotai will offer can help us meet our aims around social procurement for PDU-funded projects,” says Ms Sutherland.
“Our work with Amotai and Te Puni Kōkiri is about ensuring there is community impact beyond just the price of a service. This is all about ensuring our funding can achieve the largest benefit possible for the communities that need them most, by supporting locally-based Māori and Pasifika businesses.”
Amotai are working with the PDU to ensure that funding it manages will create targeted employment, skills, training and supplier diversity opportunities while achieving quality social outcomes.
“Some regions in Aotearoa are challenged with higher unemployment, lower productivity and difficulty finding skilled workers. Communities and whānau are struggling economically,” says Ms Paul. “The PDU kaimahi (staff) have been working tirelessly, not only to activate the projects, but to embed supplier diversity in the extensive programmes they are managing.”
PDU is one Government agency demonstrating leadership to ensure that Māori and Pasifika businesses have opportunities to be part of the supply chain in the infrastructure, building and construction and climate resilience projects around the country.
Amotai advocates for Māori and Pasifika enterprises and is also working with other agencies such as Kāinga Ora, Ministry of Education and Waka Kotahi (NZ Transport Agency). “The change doesn’t happen overnight, however the important part is happening, starting with shining the light on supplier diversity”, concludes Ms Paul.