Te Hau and Marihi Hona - Owners, Manawataki

Te Hau and Marihi Hona
Owners, Manawataki
Māori Language and Tikanga Advisors, Auckland

Kim: One of the many things I love about Te Hau and Marihi is that they’re totally embracing the inter-generational aspect of why the vast majority of Māori go into business – meeting their own professional, personal and financial aspirations now and far into the future for their whānau and wider community.

They’re also doing it with a young family and working from home, so it fits in with their whanau. I’m known as Auntie Kim because I am part of their support network and have worked with some of their wider whānau.

I am over every aspect of the business with a strategic oversight, helping Manawataki get access to funding, really anchoring their unique selling proposition and their elevator pitch, working on raising their profile by using my marketing and branding experience to get them online, and preparing them for some of the challenges they’ll face tomorrow as business owners.

Given the great relationship we've established and being a key person – and this is something any good business coaching will tell you – sometimes you have to think about “pace”. The pair have such busy lives so a good coach will know when to push a point (because it’s fundamental) and understanding when a client is ready for their next piece of learning.

Giving them the confidence to do what they do and expand further is so rewarding and their potential is huge. I’ve always got their best interests at heart, and I am excited to see what they can do in their space.

Te Hau and Marihi: We first started working with Kim in late 2021 and early 2022. I sent her an email after being recommended her services and then checking out her website.

We could see she had a lot of experience working with Māori, and had even worked with some of our whānau. What they had said about her was enough to convince us, and we were sold. Kim got back to us so quickly, which showed us that she does not muck around! We set up a meeting after securing RBP funding, and once we met her, it was an instant connection.

She's a real kaupapa-driven person and has the same values as us. She has a Māori approach, which is what we loved as well - connection first, and establishing that relationship as people before going any further.

We had an idea. We were doing some work, but we needed to expand ourselves in terms of our profiling, our marketing, and getting ourselves out there. We also needed a business advisor to show us how to do this, so that we weren't just making mistakes that could easily be avoided to make that growth and development a little bit easier.

Number one was a full rebrand. With Kim, it was working out; ‘what do we do?’, ‘why do we do what we do?’ ‘what is our elevator pitch?’ Alongside that, we've been working on our strategy, prioritising the things that are most important for us, and where to put our energy, time, and resources.

We didn’t have a website until Kim. All the clients we had worked with up until then had been through word of mouth. She suggested we have one, and connected us with graphic designers and one of her photographer clients.

Everything that we've done in terms of our marketing, we've trusted all the people and the relationships that she's brought, and they've all been great, lovely, people with outstanding skill sets.

She keeps us on our toes, is down to earth, and tells it like it is, but does it with so much love. Having that one person to keep us accountable and on track so that we can stick to our plan, has been amazing. We're not just another client to her or a number in the box, she genuinely cares about our success.

Kim gives us the confidence to do what we do, expand further on it, and develop ourselves knowing we have some great support and a great kaupapa. She’s practically become part of the whānau and we see her as ‘Auntie Kim’!

Kim goes above and beyond. Even with funding assistance, she really does her best to see that we, and all her Māori clients, have access to as much as possible. She sees how we often miss out on opportunities, and how the system doesn't work for us. She works to close those gaps, reduce those inequalities, and make sure that we can access what we should all be getting access to. We really love her for that – not just what she’s doing for us, but what she's doing for Māori businesses in all of Aotearoa.