Tourism Industry News

News from NZ Māori Tourism and Māori tourism experiences around Aotearoa New Zealand

Māori business identifier goes live

For the first time, Māori businesses can self-identify as a Māori business on the New Zealand Business Number register.

By self-identifying as a Māori business, government and agencies can understand both the contribution Māori businesses make to the economy and how we can support those businesses and measure the effectiveness (or not) of government policies and interventions for Māori businesses.

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and Te Puni Kōkiri have been working alongside the leaders of New Zealand Māori Tourism, Federation of Māori Authorities, Poutama and the Māori Women’s Development Inc. on this initiative.

“The old adage goes, 'you can't manage what you don't measure',” says Pania Tyson-Nathan, Chief Executive of NZ Māori Tourism.

“Without good, reliable Māori business data, it is difficult to properly give effect to Māori economic development.  Identifying Māori businesses through the NZ Business Number register offers a simple, yet effective way to collect data about Māori commercial enterprise in Aotearoa New Zealand.

"For an organisation like NZ Māori Tourism, having good, reliable Māori business data will enable us to tailor and direct our support for the Māori tourism sector to where it is most needed.”

Māori economic development is a key priority for Government. Up until now, there has been a lack of official data relating to Māori businesses and their contribution to the economy. 

Ross van der Schyff, General Manager Business & Consumer, MBIE, says “If government wants to successfully support Māori businesses we need better data to better understand them.  This is the first time that we can measure Māori business and economic activity in the government data system.”

As the economy continues to pick up momentum following the impact of COVID-19, the MBI will also be able to track how Māori businesses are responding. This new voluntary option to self-identify as a Māori business was announced in October 2020 by Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Minister Stuart Nash

By voluntarily self-identifying as Māori business in the NZBN Register, it will be possible to connect this information with information held on other Government datasets, enabling more accurate reporting on Māori economic activity.

The New Zealand Business Number

The New Zealand Business Number (NZBN) is a unique identifier for all businesses, big and small, with over 823,000 businesses already registered. It is designed to make it faster and easier to do business by holding core information on a digital register, meaning it doesn’t need to be repeated each time they complete a transaction with government agencies or other businesses.

Māori businesses who already have an NZBN will have a check-box field to complete on their existing digital NZBN registration to indicate if they identify as Maori. If a business does not already have an NZBN, it is easy to apply for one at

To ensure consistency with other agencies, such as Statistics NZ, businesses will be able to self-identify as a Māori business based on a number of factors, such as ownership and directorship, staff members, philosophy and tikanga, management practices, branding and marketing, tangible assets such as land or fishing rights, or intangible assets like kaupapa Māori or cultural property.

The more Māori businesses register, the more informed policy advice and the better outcomes for Māori will be.

Businesses can update their NZBN or register for the first time via


© 2024 NZ Maori Tourism Society