Passion Project – Teenage e-commerce is part of the “revitalization of te reo Māori”



“When I started table tennis we actually thought it would be cheap. You know, you only buy a few snowshoes every now and then – but traveling is actually pretty expensive. “

Because the business is run online, Ngata-Henare can easily work from his home in Northland. However, the 11th grade student, who is quick to admit that she has received a lot of help from her mother throughout her journey, admits that juggling a business, schoolwork and table tennis can get pretty hectic.

“It can be quite chaotic at times, but I’m just trying to stay on track.”

The most time consuming part of the business is packing the orders. And although her mother helps her when things get busy, Ngata-Henare says the biggest skill she has learned so far is time management and “sticking to the schedule.”

“When you get a lot of orders, you just pack them all day,” she says.

“I used to be so disorganized, but now I think I’m pretty well.”

Focusing on online sales has not only given Ngata-Henare the freedom to work independently, it has also been a big part of Māu Designz’s success.

She says the business started to take off after it gained attention in a post on a popular Facebook page and received 600 orders overnight. Since then, the company’s online presence has grown steadily, with the lead-up to Christmas also contributing to increased sales.

Ngata-Henare attributes the popularity of wrapping paper to an increase in the status of the Maori language.


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