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by Simon Lord

last updated 26/05/2016

Franchisee tops Aotearoa NZ Maori Business Leaders Awards

by Simon Lord

last updated 26/05/2016

A New World franchisee has been named Outstanding Maori Business Leader for 2016
Jason Witehira, the Outstanding Maori Business Leader of 2016

Jason Witehira (Ngāpuhi) started stacking supermarket shelves at age sixteen. Thirty-two years on, he owns the New World Victoria Park franchise in the wealthy Auckland suburb of Freemans Bay. He contributes to the wider franchise as chairman of the New World North Island supermarket owners’ group, lends his expertise to The Foodbowl, an open-access processing plant used as a testing ground for new food products and is a member of Nuku ki te Puku, Callaghan Innovation's Maori economy programme.

His achievements were honoured last night at the Aotearoa NZ Māori Business Leaders Awards 2016, where he received the Outstanding Māori Business Leaders Award.
‘Personally, I am very humbled to be categorised alongside other amazing people that have won this award before me,’ he said. ‘Professionally, I am very proud to be acknowledged and intend to continue to add value within the Māori economy where I can.’

About the awards

The Aotearoa NZ Māori Business Leaders Awards are run by the University of Auckland Business School, and are widely regarded as the nation’s premier Māori business awards. A steering committee of Māori business and government figures from throughout the country guide selection of the winners.
‘These awards are an occasion to recognise the tremendous contribution that leaders – individuals, organisations and their communities – make to a strong and growing economy that is grounded in Māori worldviews,’ says Dr Chellie Spiller, Associate Dean, Māori and Pacific.
‘The breadth and depth represented by the 2016 winners testify to a mature and burgeoning Māori economy, which has grown from an estimated asset base of $9.4 billion in 2001 to $40 billion in 2015,’ she says. Some analysts forecast this figure could top $100 billion in the next few years.

5 minutes worth watching.

‘You thought I was a shelf-filler – I actually own this place.' Watch the Campbell Live profile of Jason from 2011.

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