We tailor bespoke programmes to respond to business needs. PBT is on a journey of transformation and a range of several innovative, relevant and impactful new initiatives have been kick-started. Here’s an overview of some of them.


The National Pacific Business Trust Awards provide a unique platform to celebrate Pacific business success, focus on growth and sustainability of Pacific enterprises and recognise innovation. They celebrate the growing number of Pacific entrepreneurs and established businesses that contribute positively to the health of the NZ economy. Run by the Pacific Business Trust, the awards have been staged ten times since 1993. The 2018 Awards were held in Auckland on Friday June 2018.


The PBT approach focuses on facilitating business ecosystems around shared commercial opportunities and pathways. In this manner, PBT has been able focus on the strengths within the business community to harness greater commercial opportunities and build capability. This has been possible because of the collaborative DNA of Pacific people.


In-house PBT programmes focus on start-ups and business growth across key sectors of strength and opportunity for PBT clients. Programmes are completely bespoke and designed to ensure that clients get the fundamentals right. PBT is excited to confirm that it will soon be unveiling an exciting new collaborative relationship, aimed at developing export opportunities and pathways for clients in the North Asian and Latin American markets.


Utilising in-house commercial skill and leveraging relationships with partners, PBT delivers a range of impactful and relevant workshops nationwide for a range of organisations, including regional partners and tertiary institutions.

These focus on:

– Market Validation

– Business Development

– Pitching and Investment

– Intellectual Property delivered by Lynell Tuffrey Huria of AJ Park

– Business Tax and Structure delivered by Arti Chand of Crengle, Shreves & Ratner

– Tech Startup

– Trades and Construction Business Startup

– Design Thinking delivered by Don Chooi & Simon Nicholls of the Media Design School

– R&D Funding delivered by Rafael Lee of ATEED

Hatch Youth is where Pasifika aged 16-26 transform innovative ideas into commercial reality. Hatch Youth’s unique learning approach has been developed to respond to the changing world we live in. The programme combines tertiary educational opportunities through Hatch partner Massey University with a bespoke, intensive, wrap-around system that leverages real world experience to support accelerated commercial growth and new and diverse leadership within our communities and Aotearoa.

Hatch enables a new generation of innovative, connected and commercially savvy young people to realise their leadership and entrepreneurial potential. Hatch embodies PBT’s commitment to developing both individual and business potential, scaling Pacific business ownership and capabilities, and focusing on continued economic development of the Pacific community. The programme runs over three years, tracking the journey of rising stars to provide invaluable insights into their strengths and successes and, most importantly, to provide a roadmap for unlocking the potential of communities through youth; all while making provision for participants to align their tertiary education with a commercially viable business of their own creation.


The Mahuki accelerator is a four-month residency at Te Papa’s Mahuki innovation accelerator, with three Pacific teams who participated in the 2017 PBT cohort. During incubation, teams have the opportunity to work with Te Papa’s experts and collections and work on real-world culture sector challenges, informed by Te Papa’s experience as a global leader. As part of the Mahuki programme, entrepreneurs get out on the floor, user-test their platforms and have access to Te Papa’s 1.8million visitors per year – it’s an exceptional opportunity for both the entrepreneurs and Te Papa. The 2017 teams were; SimplyFi Ltd, developing a system that streamlines the lending and borrowing process for museums; Tide Talk, an intuitive, customizable language learning tool; and Vaka Interactiv, who have developed interactive portrait technology that enables visitors to connect to culture.


Magnitude 7 is a pre-accelerator programme where aspiring entrepreneurs can learn about experiential design and the future of work in technology, culture, heritage, and business. Held inside Te Papa Museum and delivered by Mahuki, Magnitude 7 is all about enabling Pacific people to see possibility beyond the realm of reality.Five teams, consisting of 23 people, attended the inaugural Magnitude 7. The aim was to think outside the box and challenge their own pre-conceptions to build a lean canvas of creative solutions that retain commercial benefit.


The first of its kind in New Zealand, the upcoming Pacific Inspiration Product Design Workshops have been developed by Mahuki and PBT for the community. Delivered at Te Papa by their experts and the Mahuki team, the programme is designed to grow the business capability of Pasifika people to develop high quality retail products, inspired by their heritage for a high-end culture and heritage market and to understand and navigate the process of commercialisation of intellectual property through licensing.


Pacific tech entrepreneurs, Research & Development scientists, engineers and emerging innovators were among the many who attended the Pacific Business Trust’s Kiwa Nuanua Pacific Tech Summit at Shed 10 on Auckland’s waterfront on 24 April. Kiwa Nuanua, formed from the Maori word for the guardian of the ocean- kiwa, and the Samoan word for rainbow – nuanua – a symbol of hope, was developed for Pacific people living in New Zealand interested in the technology industry.The inaugural summit saw a mixture from all ages attend, and was conveniently held during the school holidays. Inspirational speakers from both large and small tech companies took to the stage to share their own experiences of the tech world in the hopes of inspiring more Pacific people to join the sector. Presentations from Microsoft, Emerging Tech Innovators, Systems Analysts, Engineers, R&D Scientists and a Q & A Panel ignited a number of discussions. Many of those that participated voiced their support to make it an annual event and were confident it will grow.


As part of TechWeek 2018, PBT partnered with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), Dev Academy, Summer of Tech, Ministry of Pacific Peoples (MPP) and Datacom to showcase Pasifika people already succeeding and navigating a variety of aspects of the tech sector during a Digital Moana Forum on May 22 at the Vodafone Events Centre in Manukau.

The forum was put together with the aim of inspiring, informing and empowering Pasifika to pursue careers in technology. Research shows numbers of Pasifika people studying IT and computer sciences are low, yet the IT industry in New Zealand is facing a skills shortage. In addition, automation and digitisation is increasingly replacing jobs in manufacturing and labouring, in which Pacific communities are highly represented. Events put on during the nationwide TechWeek provide the perfect space to introduce more Pasifika to the industry.


The Treasury and PBT are undertaking a joint project to identify the Pacific economy in New Zealand. The two organisations signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Wellington on Monday 18 December 2017.It is a defining project that will allow New Zealanders to fully understand the economic contribution Pacific communities make to the nation’s economic wellbeing. Our Pacific communities have contributed to the engine of Aotearoa New Zealand for a long time, but still face long-held negative perceptions about the lack of value to our country. Research will shed light on a community whose innovation and value have often been overlooked. The project aims to quantify the value, coverage and contribution of Pacific capital products and assets to the overall New Zealand economy. This will lead to more targeted and relevant policies being developed alongside social enterprise approaches, which lead to greater social and economic outcomes for Pacific New Zealanders.


PBT has embarked on research in the social enterprise space to explore and uncover a uniquely Pacific approach to social enterprise and socially innovative business models. PBT is excited about the journey so far and what can be built from this foundation.


These fast-paced weekend events are where people interested in business and technology form teams to create the genesis of technology-based business solutions. It involves 54 hours of intense market validation, lean business principles and a range of expert mentors develops commercial skill, which would normally take a number of years to learn. Startup Weekends Pasifika have been run in Porirua and Auckland with participants describing the effects as transformative.


He Waka Eke Noa is NZ’s first supply chain social procurement model. It prioritises greater inclusion of Maori and Pasifika enterprises in local government and corporate procurement/supply chains. He Waka Eke Noa is being developed by an inclusive and collaborative association of diverse public, private and non-government organisations who are committed to the exponential, sustainable economic development of Maori and Pasifika communities through enterprise. It will directly link Māori and Pasifika businesses with public and private clients.


Strategic Partnerships