2021 Boost with Facebook program in partnership with Whāriki

Nick McDonnell - Head of Public Policy, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands – September 28, 2021


We recently wrapped up our 2021 Boost with Facebook program in partnership with Whāriki Māori Business Network, reaching hundreds of small Māori-owned businesses with digital marketing training. We hosted five in-person workshops in Whāngarei, Auckland, Hamilton, Rotorua and Wellington and pivoted our last two events scheduled in Christchurch and Dunedin into a virtual event focused on Te Waipounamu (South Island) in response to the recent lockdown. The workshops provided free digital skills education delivered by two of our Kiwi Facebook Community Trainers on how to use Facebook and Instagram to continue to grow, innovate, stay resilient through uncertain times, and connect with customers locally and globally. Each workshop finished with a panel discussion highlighting local businesses who are using Facebook and Instagram to thrive, such as Nikki Kennedy from Taputapu and Anton Matthews from FUSH.

We’ve been inspired by these small businesses looking to take the next step in their digital marketing journey, and we were thrilled that 92% of attendees say they have improved their digital skills confidence following the training. Teresa Watkins, CEO of Monster Creative, who attended the Whāngarei workshops commented, “There were some great practical tips shared at the workshop but my absolute highlight was being surrounded by so many successful pakihi (businesses) Māori in one room. The presenters were also fantastic, very natural and informative.”

Facebook is grateful to have worked in partnership with the amazing team from Whāriki to bring these workshops to life. Heta Hudson, Whāriki Chairperson, says “Having successfully delivered Boost with Facebook across the motu (country), we know Māori businesses are embracing social media and digital technologies to build their businesses and tell their own unique stories. Hearing local business ‘heroes’ share their inspiring journey’s and seeing the whanaungatanga (connections) amongst the businesses in the room, has been one of the best outcomes for us. Even better, we have seen the whanaungatanga continue online, with many taking the opportunity to share, like, comment and tautoko (support) each other’s business and kaupapa (purpose).”

We were privileged to be joined by Minister Peeni Henare, Minister Kelvin Davis and MPs Tamati Coffey, Paul Eagle and Jamie Strange at the events in their electorates. Addressing participants in Whangārei on the 22nd July, Minister Kelvin Davis shared his support for local business owners saying, “To see the way Māori business in Te Tai Tokerau has grown and the number of you here today is heartwarming. It’s fantastic to see the partnership approach being established between Whāriki and Facebook to deliver training and workshops across Aotearoa for Māori small businesses. Being open to and embracing new ways of learning, especially in an ever-evolving digital age is vital…if you can incorporate your people and stories into your business that’s a real winning combination.”

Thanks to all the small businesses who took part in the programme and to our partners Whāriki for their vision in bringing such impressive pakihi together. We are committed to investing in education and local programs as part of our ongoing support to small businesses in Aotearoa and look forward to supporting more businesses in the future. If you weren’t able to make our Boost with Facebook events, you can access more free training from Facebook via the Small Business Learning Hub, and connect with thousands of businesses on the Boost with Facebook Aotearoa New Zealand Facebook Group.

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