The latest data by MBIE on self-employed businesses show that Pacific entrepreneurs comprise 1.6% of the total number of small to medium business owners in New Zealand. NZIER in 2005 projected that in 2021 should the inequity gap between Pacific performance in business, employment, education and in the labour market and the rest of the population remain, the "unrealised Pacific potential" or forgone benefit cost to the country by 2021 could be estimated to be between 4-5 billion dollars. The growing Pacific demographics and the age disparity between Pacific and mainstream populations suggests that more needs to be done to increase and deliver on the economic potential of all our diverse communities with a particular focus on business entrepreneurship, education and skills and in the emerging industries sectors.
Paul will be sharing with us his experiences as a New Zealand born Pacific entrepreneur and businessman and what he sees are the challenges, opportunities and the benefits he has encountered in navigating the New Zealand business and economic landscape. His story will educate inspire and extend our knowledge and understanding of the realities of operating a business in New Zealand especially in managing the pressures and expectations of families and communities.
About Paul Retimanu
Paul is an Events Coordinator and Director of Manaaki Management. Paul entered the hospitality industry as a bartender and by the age of 24 was already managing 40 staff as the catering manager of a large, five-star hotel. "That's the great thing about hospitality," he say, "you can move up the chain quickly and still be quite young, as long as you show your initiative and are prepared to work hard".
These days, in between juggling the demands of seven children, Paul and his wife Keri own and run Manaaki Management which provides full event and venue management of Te Raukura - te Wharewaka o Poneke including Karaka Cafe, Pipitea Marae and Toitu Poneke in Kilbirnie. Manaaki (meaning – "to look after") is a full venue management operation, providing services for all clients venue needs including facility management, venue bookings, function and event planning, theming, food and beverage requirements.
Paul is also the Chair of the Wellington Pacific Business Network Board. He has both personal and professional knowledge of the obstacles, challenges, struggles and also the benefits of starting your own business. Consequently he brings to his role as Chair, invaluable experience and business knowledge as someone who has been there and done that.
"Our goal is to help grow Pasifika businesses in Wellington, to help create a community of like-minded Pasifika business entrepreneurs who can share ideas and successes and to drive leading-edge, for Pacific by Pacific, and business innovation".
The first Wellington Pasifika Business Network event was held in December 2014 after overwhelming support from the business and government community. The impetus for the network started with the passion of a small group identifying a significant gap in the market, particularly the lack of visibility of Pasifika businesses in the region. The genuine commitment to bring together the Pasifika business community was premised on the primary goal to encourage innovation, prosperity and growth of small business through quality network events and engagements whilst celebrating our successes and challenges in the world of business.
As if that does not take up enough of his time, Paul is also on the board of the Wellington Hospitality Association, Te Awe Maori Business network and is also a member of the Board of Trustee’s for Wellington College.
Note: Papers, presentation slides and any other material provided by the Guest Lecturer will be made available some time after the lecture at Publications > Media & Speeches > Guest Lectures by Visiting Academics.