Puketapu Hapū are at the helm of an exciting opportunity to create a positive economic impact to the lives of their whanau, hapū and iwi as well as local Māori business and Taranaki as a whole.

Puketapu Hapū, in partnership with the board of Papa Rererangi i Puketapu, have taken the opportunity to create a portal for Māori business to showcase local talent and passion for what our people have to offer the world.

Having secured one of the new retail spaces, it will give visitors and locals alike the opportunity to purchase unique and high quality items, as well as those last minute travel necessities. The store will become a hub for travellers to gain easy access to local information, tāonga and services.

“This is a chance for us to showcase some of our cultural history and stories, to New Zealanders and international visitors as well” says Puketapu Hapū Chair Theresa Patu.

“We are really pleased and proud that our ancestral whenua is to be used in such a positive way, for our uri and for all Taranaki people”.

The new airport terminal currently being constructed north of New Plymouth, on Puketapu whenua, is due to be completed at the end of this year. The new terminal has been designed to create an experience for travellers as opposed to being a stop and go point, accommodating new retail spaces and taking people on a journey retelling the story of Taranaki through modern art mediums designed and installed by renowned and respected Puketapu artist Rangi Kipa.

With a current annual thoroughfare at the airport of close to 500,000 travellers per annum (and future projected growth to account for), there is a captive audience and market looking for ways to connect with small businesses and to source authentic and locally produced goods.

The Puketapu Hapū retail space is centrally located in the new terminal, opposite the new cafe, and is in a prime position to service both arriving and departing travellers, as well as friends and family enjoying a coffee while waiting to collect their guests.

“The showcase of our kōrero, alongside the reinforcing of our connection to the whenua, ahi kaa, is a significant step for our Hapū” Theresa says.

Puketapu Hapū are looking to offer a wide range of products and services, with a key focus being on supporting kaupapa Māori. Each product and service will have a whakapapa attached to empower our customers with knowledge, they will know where it was made, who it was made by and/or who is providing the service with their connection to our whenua. The products and services will be showcased to an international level and as such the quality and presentation of these items will be of a very high standard.

Space to showcase products will be limited in-store, to mitigate this a click and collect option shall be provided with customers able to pre-purchase items and have these ready for collection on arrival or departure, creating a streamlined way to process those all important transactions. There will also be the option to have your purchase delivered, saving that precious luggage allowance for more shopping! The online portal will enable people to access in-depth product details and services that are certainly unique to Taranaki. From large art pieces, one-off designs, local produce, tours and providing other boutique offerings, the plan is to give each customer an enjoyable, seamless and quick process for the ever savvy traveler.

“We have many high-calibre, quality goods and wares produced by our uri. We are now in a position to showcase our extremely talented artesian community. The Hapū are keen to support these businesses and help them find new markets” says Theresa.

Sourcing local suppliers that have the ability to provide a high quality product or service regularly and reliably is a key focus for the retail store. A stringent criteria is currently being developed to ensure the product offerings are the best available to the market. Implemented in the business plan is the provision to support up and coming local māori business to sell their products and services through the retail store, this will be achieved by up-skilling and empowering uri of Puketapu Hapū to develop their skills and knowledge through wananga, enabling them to attain the high standards required.

“The training and employment opportunities for our uri created by this venture mean a great deal to the Hapū” Theresa says.

The most important factor in the success of this concept is having the right people in the right places. The retail superstars we are looking for will be able to take the business to the next level, maintaining the physical store, online presence and social media platforms. A special part of the induction process will be working with each team member to learn the pakiwaitara of Puketapu, Te Atiawa Nui Tonu and Taranaki, enabling them to feel comfortable enough to share these stories with visitors and locals alike who may have an interest. Team members will also learn the whakapapa for each of the products and services offered. This will be a store with a difference, so for those currently working in retail and looking for a fresh, new challenge, this is an exciting opportunity to be an integral part of a new evolution in the Taranaki maori business scene.

Acknowledgement must be given to the visionaries who got this project started and followed through in what could’ve been seen as daunting and scary, entering a new domain and leading the way for connecting Māori business, Iwi and Hapū.

If you have a local product offering and would like to become a supplier of products and services or register an expression of interest for employment, please contact Gina and Tama Blackburn and let's korero today!

E: hello@newplymouthtours.co.nz
M: 022 676 0680 (Tama)
M: 027 926 5610 (Gina)