The 'More Māori and Pasifika in Business' forum hopes to get more Māori and Pasifika students into the world of business.

19-year-old Jay Mclaren-Harris says he organised the inaugural event in the hope of generating wealth into the people.

“What it's about is getting a whole lot of Māori and Pasifika together to hear from amazing speakers top, business, cultural, community and political speakers as well as some amazing youth speakers as well.”

At the Māngere Arts Centre just short of 200 participants of youth from around the country and Australia have registered for the two-day conference.

McLaren-Harris says the youth are wanting to make a change in society and their communities.

“Facts are facts, statistics are statistics. we are at the bottom of every negative statistic in this country.

“But for us as Māori and Pasifika, it's about how can we break that?

“How can we change those stereotypes? Because a lot of people focus a lot on the negatives.

“Māngere, for example, gets a lot of negative attention but we never hear about the amazing success and the amazing achievements of young Māori and Pasifika.”

Dr Lance O’Sullivan of the Moko Foundation is one of the many keynote speakers believes this forum has huge benefits for both Māori and Pasikifa.

“E tino tautoko ana te Moko Foundation [i] ngā rangatahi.

“Arā ko rātou ngā rangatahi mō āianei, āpōpō, ko ngā rangatira.”

According to the last census, over 21,000 Māori run their own business and Māori enterprise is worth nearly $40 billion, growing faster than the NZ economy.

For Mclaren-Harris, Māori and Pasifika have a lot to offer.

“Many of us when we describe wealth, we describe it as money and economics.

“We describe it as how much zero's we have in the bank.

“Well actually in terms of Māori and Pasifika wealth is determined by what we know and the knowledge we have but also the fact that we can share that with other people.”

The forum lasted for two days.

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