Profile: Kahui Legal
Could you describe your company and its business profile?
Kahui Legal is a law partnership that specialises in providing advice to Māori clients across a wide range of commercial, Treaty of Waitangi, public law and resource management issues. Our main office is located in Wellington and we have recently opened an office in Rotorua. We also have staff working remotely from Gisborne, Whanganui and Whakatane.
What are the core values of your company?
We like to think of the firm as reflecting Māori values such as whānau (family) and manaakitanga (hospitality). When we established the firm in 2003 our aim was to provide high quality but cost-effective services to Māori organisations, and to assist in the growth and development of Māori business and reconciliation of historical issues affecting Māori. The Māori word ‘kahui’ refers to a group with a common goal. It refers to our coming together with our particular skills for a common purpose. It also reflects the idea of resolving issues so that communities can come together.
How would you describe the profile(s) of your (prospective) customers?
The vast majority of our customers are Māori organisations, such as tribal representative organisations, asset holding companies, Māori land trusts, Māori owned businesses, and pan Māori groupings. We also do some government-related work and advise non-Māori businesses and councils on Māori-related issues.
How do you engage your (prospective) customers?
We sponsor events that are relevant to our clients or of interest to them. We also hold a variety of functions for our clients during the course of the year. In the last month we completed our first client survey. The aim of the survey was to obtain feedback on the services we provide so that we can look at ways in which to improve our offering. In addition, a number of our lawyers have board roles or are involved in community initiatives. This year we are delivering the 300 level Treaty of Waitangi course at Victoria University.
What were your challenges in finding sponsorship partners and how did you select them?
We receive a lot of approaches for sponsorship. The challenge for us is that we are not able to support everything. In addition to our day-to-day work advancing Māori development through the provision of legal services, we also desire to advance the wellbeing of iwi, hapū and whānau.
We therefore endeavour, firstly, to support initiatives being promoted by our clients within their rohe (areas). Secondly, we also look to wider opportunities that promote Māori values and interests. For example, we have supported Taki Rua Productions for a number of years because we think it’s important to support Māori performing arts, and Taki Rua is an organisation that promotes te reo Māori and tikanga Māori. One of the firm’s partners, Jamie Ferguson, is also on the board of Taki Rua. We have similarly supported IronMāori for several years, recognising its promotion of Māori health and wellbeing.
Could you describe the value shared and received beyond the dollars?
The additional value we receive through sponsorship is in the opportunity to give back to the communities that support the firm and its purpose.
Disclaimer: Brian has known Matanuku Mahuika from Kahui Legal for 30 years. He appreciates how Ma has transferred his skills from the football pitch into improving the playing field for others.