Boost with Facebook is back – in partnership with Whāriki

Nick McDonnell - Head of Public Policy, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands – July 16, 2021


Small businesses are a driving force of the Māori economy and the Māori economy is critical to a thriving New Zealand. That’s why we’re excited to be back on the road in partnership with Whāriki Māori Business Network. We’ll be visiting seven locations across Aotearoa offering free digital skills education on how to use Facebook and Instagram to continue to grow, innovate, stay resilient through uncertain times, and connect with customers locally and globally.

We kicked off our first in-person Boost with Facebook workshop in Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland) yesterday and were joined by business owners ready to learn and grow their business. We met with small businesses, many whānau owned, looking to take the next step in their digital marketing journey, and we were thrilled with the enthusiasm and commitment by attendees.

Heta Hudson, Whāriki Chairperson, says “We know our business community are using Facebook and Instagram, especially our whānau businesses. Our recent nationwide survey of businesses in the Whāriki Māori Business Network showed that 86% of businesses used Facebook and/or Instagram to market their business, and 89% said that digital technologies have been important for their business since the start of COVID-19.”

Addressing the audience, Hon. Peeni Henare, MP for Tāmaki Makaurau, Minister of Defence and Minister for Whānau Ora shared his support for local business owners and commented on how digital tools can help support the Māori economy to stay resilient. “Today’s hui is one of those avenues that can help take Māori business to the world. Digital technologies are a tool that can allow you to grow your kaupapa and your business, and I hope that you all get an opportunity to engage with the kaupapa that has brought us here today, but also with one another.”

The pandemic has shown that digital skills are imperative to help businesses adapt and build resilience, and their survival is necessary not just for the people they employ, but also their communities. Below are some insights on Facebook and Instagram from two of the business owners who shared their story at the workshop in Auckland.

Harmony Huntington started Aria Collection, an activewear company with a mission to improve the confidence of women across Aotearoa. After having her second pēpi (baby), Harmony found physical activity was a great tool to help combat postpartum depression, and when Harmony was wearing activewear she liked, it gave her a positive mental health hit. In June 2020, Harmony put out a Facebook post to gauge interest in her product and got an amazing response. Since then Harmony has used Facebook and Instagram as the main marketing tool to grow her business which now has over 4,700 followers on Instagram.

We were also joined by Geneva Harrison from Tuhi Stationery, which creates Māori inspired and designed stationery. Tuhi Stationery have used Facebook to build a community of customers, allowing them to test new ideas and see what resonates before creating products. This has helped them to incorporate te ao Māori concepts in a meaningful way. Facebook has also been a key driver of growth, with business Page insights helping them to identify the target audience  for an advertising campaign featuring their growing range of products, which lead to 63% of sales referrals coming through Facebook over the last seven days.

The success of these business owners and entrepreneurs wouldn’t have been possible without resilience and an ability to  embrace creative solutions through building their skills in digital marketing and technologies.

We continue to invest in education and local programs as part of our ongoing support to SMEs  in Aotearoa and look forward to supporting more businesses in the weeks to come — register to join us today.


Te Tai Tokerau – Whangārei

Thursday 22 July

9am – 2pm


Waikato – Hamilton

Thursday 29 July

9am – 2pm


Waiariki — Rotorua

Friday 6 August

12pm – 5pm


Te  Whanganui a Tara – Wellington

Friday 13 August

12pm – 5pm


Waitaha – Christchurch

Friday 20 August

12pm – 5pm


Ōtākou – Dunedin

Friday 27 August

12pm – 5pm


If you aren’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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