As a sentry bird, Te Manu Taupua Ltd is determined to lead people through a flight path to cultural empowerment.
Founders Dane Tumahai (Ngāti Whātua) and Paora Puru (Ngāti Te Ata, Waiohua), started the social enterprise Te Manu Taupua Ltd as a way to introduce the Māori world to manuhiri while extending upon their values of kaitiakitanga and manaakitanga.
“Now that we’ve established Te Manu Taupua Ltd, we’ve been fortunate to operate some key businesses that we’re deeply passionate about,” says Dane.
While enjoying the tourism mahi they do through showing manuhiri cultural sites of significance in the Tāmaki Makaurau rohe, Dane and Paora operate the Whau Real Fruit Ice Cream shop situated on top of Maungawhau (Mt Eden) and have now just opened the Whau Café.
As new entrants to business, Dane and Paora faced challenges with accounting, legal set-up, mentor support, and digital marketing. “These are the things that Paora and I had identified and becoming aware of Pakihi gave us the opportunity to have confidence on where we could get the necessary support”.
Dane had attended a Pakihi Digital Marketing workshop to equip himself with the tools needed to succeed in a world that relies heavily on technology.
“I came away from the workshop feeling really informed and it helped me to clarify some of the unknowns around digital marketing.”
Their Pakihi mentor, Heta Hudson, was able to provide insight to business and financial models, analysis and trends. “A key part of helping us on our journey with our business was mentoring”. Heta was able to give insight to things that they “were not thinking about but clearly are very important if we want to be sustainable and progressive in the industry that we’re in.”
With the rapid growth that Te Manu Taupua Ltd has experienced in a short period, Dane and Paora want to start creating opportunities to give back and to collaborate with other Māori-owned businesses. “Part of our value system is around ako and reciprocation… this opportunity now affords us to give back”.
As an alumnus of Pakihi, Dane gives praise and gratitude for what the initiative has provided him as a business owner, “we really encourage the support to continue so that other businesses can be prosperous in the future”.