Growth signs emerging after revenue stability for Maori business owners

24 Sep 2013

Maori business operators in New Zealand have enjoyed greater revenue stability in the last 12 months than the overall business community and encouraging signs of growth are developing, according to the latest MYOB Business Monitorresearch.

The national survey of 1,000+ SMEs commissioned to independent market research firm Colmar Brunton has run since 2009. It explores business performance, attitudes, plans and pressures, as well as a variety of issues. In this latest study, for the first time researchers also asked business operators to identify themselves by ethnic background. 4% identified themselves as Maori.

MYOB NZ general manager, Business Division James Scollay says it is encouraging to see the strong performance of New Zealand’s SME sector extending widely.

“With a range of opportunities presented by a healthier economy and the increasingly innovative attitude of our local businesses, it’s a good time to be your own boss in New Zealand. And it’s great to see those opportunities spreading right across the business community,” he says.

Revenue stable, short-term improvements for Maori business owners

According to the survey, Maori business operators were more likely to report stable and increased revenue over the 12 months to August than the overall respondent average. 55% of Maori operators reported steady revenue, with 25% growing revenue (80% in total), compared to 43% of all SMEs with steady revenue and 30% with growing revenue (73% in total). Fewer also reported a fall in revenue (18% compared to 24%).

Looking ahead to the next 12 months, the trend continues. A significant 49% of Maori business operators expected steady revenue, with 41% forecasting revenue growth. This compared to 41% and 43% of all SMEs. Just 1% of Maori operators predicted revenue to fall – well below the 10% of all SMEs expecting the same.

The Maori business community is seeing a strong August to October period also. 45% reported more work or orders than usual in their three-month pipeline, compared to 36% for all SMEs.

That short-term improvement does not extend into confidence in the broader economy, however, with fewer expecting economic improvement within 12 months (14%) than the whole SME group (28%).

Hiring more, paying more

When asked about the level of investment across various business areas over the next 12 months, Maori business operators were much more likely to intend to increase the number of casual staff employed. 27% will increase the number of part time employees, compared to just 16% across the whole SME group.

Their employees are also more likely to see a pay rise this year, with 28% intending to increase pay rates in the next 12 months, compared to 19% overall.

Pressures felt more keenly

The top pressure point for the overall business community, fuel prices will be felt most keenly by Maori business operators in the year ahead. 44% identified it as a significant pressure, compared to 35% of all SMEs. Raising finance is also a bigger issue than for the overall group (26% compared to 16%). Likely tied to funding pressures, rising interest rates are also slightly more concerning (24% compared 22%).

Maori business operators are more likely to be concerned about cashflow, too, with 31% citing it as a key pressure for the next year. Just over one quarter of SMEs overall (26%) expect cashflow pressure this year.

“New Zealand business – like our broader community – is becoming more rich and varied with every year that passes,” says James Scollay. “This is great for the country. Different experiences, perspectives and focuses ensure our economy is more robust and dynamic, and has greater potential to be more competitive. They also help ensure our workplaces are filled with rich cultural experiences for staff and clients to benefit from.

“It’s important we ensure that when service providers, government departments and other organisation and businesses plan their support and assistance for local operators of all backgrounds, we take into account individual needs.”

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For further information or immediate comment, please contact:

Kristy Sheppard


Tel: 09 925 3560

Mob: +61 407 450 860


Gerard Blank

The Agency Communications Limited

Tel: 03 341 5841

Mob: 0275 243 629


About MYOB New Zealand

Established in 1991, MYOB is New Zealand's largest business management solutions provider. It makes life easier for approx. 1.2 million businesses across New Zealand and Australia, by simplifying accounting, payroll, tax, practice management, CRM, websites, job costing, inventory and more. MYOB provides ongoing support via many client service channels including a network of over 40,000 accountants, bookkeepers and other consultants. It is committed to ongoing innovation, particularly in cloud computing solutions, and now spends more than NZ$35 million annually on research and development. In 2013, MYOB expanded its offerings with the acquisition of accounting solutions provider BankLink. For more information, visit

About the MYOB Business Monitor

The MYOB Business Monitor is a national survey of 1,000+ New Zealand small and medium business owners and managers, from sole traders to mid-sized companies, representing the major industry sectors. It has run since 2009, commissioned to independent market research firm Colmar Brunton. This most recent survey ran late January/early February 2013. The Monitor researches business performance and attitudes in areas such as profitability, cash flow, pipeline, technology usage and the government. The weighting of respondents by both geographical location and sector is based on overall market proportions as established by Statistics New Zealand and is drawn from an independent survey group, which includes both MYOB clients and non-clients.