Te Wero Pakihi (The Business Challenge)

Luke Parker
Te Wero Pakihi (The Business Challenge)

Secondary students Mauriora Takiari and Luke Nixon have had a taste of the business world and are keen for more after being part of the Maori Women’s Development Incorporation’s Business Challenge.

The pair were among 44 bright and innovative minds to attend a recent business development programme, Te Wero Pakihi (The Business Challenge), at Auckland’s Massey University. The week-long programme aims to help top Maori secondary school students from low-decile schools get a feel of what it is like to run a business.

St Joseph’s Maori Girls’ College student, Mauriora Takiari, 17, said they were split into five teams and attended lectures on a variety of business topics and challenging scenarios.

“I especially enjoyed the branding and marketing lectures, and learnt a lot. Having the other students and mentors with the same goals and aspirations around me was very encouraging. We all learnt new things from each other,” she said.

Te Wero Pakihi (The Business Challenge), sponsored by Westpac and Massey University, is run by Maori Women's Development Incorporation and looks at the importance of developing a business plan and strategy.

Wainuiomata High School student Luke Nixon, 16, said one of the main assignments was a marketing challenge to research how a café franchise could improve its customer satisfaction ratings.

He said each team spent time surveying customers at Westpac’s Queen Street, Ponsonby, Takapuna, Newmarket, and Albany branches.

“We had quite a lot of feedback around the cafés’ prices and that it was more of a special occasion destination,” Luke said. “We recommended that they should give more deals like a combo or a deal of the day.”

Each team had to collate their research, create a presentation which included a video, and present their findings to a panel of judges.

Luke plans to head to University in Leeds, England to play Rugby and study a Bachelor of Laws.

Mauriora hopes to attend Victory University to study a Bachelors or Masters in Law and Commerce with a goal of running her own businesses in the future.

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