Shay Wright

Training Maori leaders to grow world class organisations

Shay Wright

Training Maori leaders to grow world class organisations


Shay, through the organisation that he co­founded, Te Whare Hukahuka, is helping to empower the next generation of Maori leaders through education and training.

Maori generally fall within the bottom 80% of indicators that Government uses to measure wellbeing, and Maori are nearly three times as likely to be unemployed and/or convicted of a criminal offence.

When we look at these statistics, it is undeniable that the growing inequity in NZ is felt along cultural lines, and in the case of Maori I believe it has come mainly from an intergenerational deconstruction of the Māori­-owned economy.

Rebuilding that is a huge part of the solution, and changing these statistics is the key driver behind Shay’s work.

Te Whare Hukahuka combines entrepreneurship, innovation, education and indigenous knowledge to empower leaders to grow world class organisations. Shay is also a founding board member of Teach First NZ, recruiting and training leaders to serve as effective teachers in underprivileged communities.

“What gets me up in the morning is the ‘knowing’ that I help return pride and opportunity to Maori communities so that we can all flourish. Being responsible, thinking globally but acting locally, and creating solutions that we can share with indigenous communities around the world.”

Prior to Te Whare Hukahuka, Shay was the founding Head of Maori Development at The Icehouse ­ which is where he learned a lot of the skills around startups, market validation and scaling business models.

Shay was recently named in the Forbes Asia 30 Under 30 Asia for Social Entrepreneurship.



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