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He kai kei aku ringa

Applications for Kurutao close on Friday 19 April.

Tō Mātou whāingaAbout Kurutao

Kurutao is a Māori Entrepreneurial Leaders expedition designed to inspire and introduce Ngai Māori (Māori Peoples) to Aotearoa’s innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem. The multi-day programme will showcase Māori entrepreneurism through various workshops hosted by Māori Entrepreneurs, investors and others working in the ecosystem.  

The purpose of Kurutao is to:

  • inspire and motivate tauira Māori, welcoming participants to the Aotearoa innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem (indigenous and non-indigenous) 
  • develop tauira Māori innovation and entrepreneurial capability 
  • Deepen participants’ innovative and entrepreneurial mindset through exposure to innovators, entrepreneurs, ventures, networks and operating models

Who is it designed for?

All Māori who want to experience the opportunities available within the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem. Interest is the biggest criteria.  

A group of up to 20 tauira Māori from across Waipapa Taumata Rau, the University of Auckland will be selected to join this free experience that will see them visiting and learning from those working in Aotearoa’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. 

To be eligible for the programme you must be Māori and a current student at the University of Auckland, based in New Zealand. This means you will be enrolled to study in the first semester of 2024.  

Programme structure

The programme will consist of a pre-workshops, a 2-day wānanga in Auckland followed by a study tour (location tbc). It will be designed so participants can see, try, reflect, share, and discuss throughout the trip. 

Further details coming soon.

Key dates

Applications open – Monday 4 March

Applications close – Friday 19 April

Kapu tī kōrero (Conversation/Interview)process – Monday 22 April – Tuesday 30 April

Pre-Workshop – 22 May, 4-6pm

Wānanga & study tour – Wednesday 10 July – Sunday 14 July

Final workshop – Wednesday 7 August, 4-6pm

Tauira (student) must be able to commit to all dates


Kurutao is an inverted arrowhead and is a name gifted by Whare Tū Tauā expert, Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor Māori Michael Steedman which represents the group’s moving agility and intentions for success. Kurutao is the brain-child of University of Auckland student Hiraia Haami-Wells, who in 2023 participated in CIE’s Vanguard Entrepreneurial Leaders Expedition. She returned from Silicon Valley inspired to translate the experience to Aotearoa, in a context that resonates with Māori purpose and values. Hiraia’s vision has been supported by the Business School’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and UniServices. 




Maru Maxwell

Ko Mata hourua te waka

Ko Hokianga te moana

Ko whiria te maunga

Ko Pakanae te marae

Ko Marae roa te whare tūpuna

Ko Te Pouka Ngāti wharara rāua ko Ngāti Korokoro ngā hapu

Ko Ngāpuhi te iwi

Ko Te Maruata Maxwell ahau

No Hokianga Whakapau Karakia ahau.

Maru loves to encourage growth and long-lasting connections, particularly among rangatahi Māori. Her Ao Māori is her driving force in all that she does. Kurutao is something that she says drives her to another level, and she is deeply honored to be a part of this beautiful Kaupapa. Karawhiua e hoa ma!




Hiraia Haami-Wells

Ko Maungahaumi rāua ko Ruapehu ōku maunga

Ko Waipaoa rāua ko Whanganui ōku awa

Ko Horouta rāua ko Aotea ōku waka

Ko Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki me Te Āti Haunui-a-Pāpārangi ōku iwi

Ko Hiraia Haami-Wells tōku ingoa

Hiraia is finding her place in the world one opportunity at a time. She hopes that Kurutao will bring upon new ideas and change among tauira and is deeply honored to bring this kaupapa to life with the help of CIE and UniServices.



Applications for Kurutao close on Friday 19 April.