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Increasing access for New Zealand businesses

Agencies must consider how they can create opportunities for New Zealand businesses, including Māori, Pasifika and regional businesses, as well as social enterprises.

Increasing New Zealand business access to government contract opportunities

Under Rule 17 of the Government Procurement Rules, agencies must consider how they can create opportunities for New Zealand businesses, including Māori, Pasifika and regional businesses, as well as social enterprises.

Some businesses can find it difficult to bid for government procurement opportunities. Poorly written tenders with complex information and processes, and limited conversation between agencies and businesses are some of the barriers felt by New Zealand businesses when tendering for government contracts.

Removing these barriers and improving the ability for all businesses to bid, increases competition, grows local expertise, and creates jobs. Government procurement can also support economic development by growing more export-capable businesses to compete in the international market.

There is a lot that agencies can do to make it easier for businesses of all sizes to compete and ensure a level playing field in government procurement.

Increasing Māori business access to government contract opportunities

A new progressive procurement policy with a focus on Māori businesses was announced in December 2020. The purpose of the policy is to increase the diversity of government suppliers and to develop an intentional approach to the government spend to achieve broader economic and social outcomes. Mandated agencies now need to ensure that at least 5% of the total number of annual procurement contracts are awarded to Māori businesses.

A Māori business for government procurement purposes is:

  • one that has at least 50% Māori ownership or
  • a Māori Authority as defined by the Inland Revenue Department.

Te Puni Kōkiri (TPK) is working in partnership with Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) on this project. The implementation of this policy is supported by Te Kupenga Hao Pāuaua, a project team based at TPK. The team is engaging with agencies to implement social procurement practices and prototyping social procurement approaches to reduce barriers for Māori businesses to engage in government procurement processes.

For some agencies, reaching this target requires a considered and planned approach. As a starting point, agencies should assess their current procurement spend with Māori businesses to inform their baseline.

TPK has guidance and resources available to help agencies assess their progressive procurement practices and to support the implementation of the policy.

Progressive Procurement - Te Puni Kōkiri

Buyers (government agencies) - Te Puni Kōkiri

Guidance and resources

For tips on how to procure in a way that effectively involves New Zealand businesses while still being fair to all suppliers:

There are some simple things that you can do to improve access for Māori, Pasifika, and regional businesses:

Better access to information and communications technology (ICT) contracts is a priority area for the government:

If you’d like to share your feedback with us or if you’ve got case studies that others would benefit from, please email us.

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