Creating positive change through Social Procurement

Ryan Boyd
Creating positive change through Social Procurement

“A diverse supply chain increases innovation, sustainability, and competitiveness.”

That was the key message from key note speaker, Laura Berry, Chief Executive, Supply Nation Australia, speaking at a Social Procurement Symposium run by Westpac, ATEED (Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development), and Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei recently.

The purpose of the Social Procurement Symposium was to promote inclusion and diversity in the supply chain of New Zealand government and corporates, delivering greater social impact and enabling social change.

With local and international speakers, including Neil McInroy Chief Executive, Centre for Local Economic Strategies in the UK who spoke of how a change in procurement policy can result in a significant change in culture, the event was attended by 150 representatives from central and local government, corporates, and Māori and Iwi businesses.

Mavis Mullins set the scene by talking about the Māori economy, and how Māori and Iwi businesses can support the growth and prosperity of New Zealand.

“If we can democratise things such as procurement, that gives a fairer spread,” she said.

“We recognise that our diverse local business community includes suppliers that represent the heart of our communities,” Westpac NZ Commercial Services, Head of Procurement, Rob Halsall said. 

“Hosting the symposium supported our passion to create awareness and an improved understanding of how we can engage with Māori, Iwi and Pasifika, and include them in our supply chain; and work with other corporate and government organisations in New Zealand to do the same.”

To illustrate the benefits of inclusion and diversity into supplier chains, the catering of the Symposium was done by local Māori and Pasifika businesses, Get Cheffed Catering and Blue Rose Café and Catering.

The menus were made of traditional native and home-made style kai such as koko cupcakes, hāngi and palusami pies, tītī pounamu, and Apatu snapper chowder, and showcased not only the high calibre of local products, but the difference that can be made to the growth of small businesses when corporates use them. 

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