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Air New Zealand has announced the launch of Ka Rere, its first diverse supplier accelerator programme.

Ka Rere is a 12-week diverse supplier accelerator programme focused on increasing Air New Zealand’s engagement with local Maori-owned and Pasifika-owned businesses as well as businesses who operate as social enterprises.

Over the 12 weeks, the airline will work with three diverse businesses to prepare them for future tenders with Air New Zealand.

The programme provides an opportunity for participants to access a range of skills, knowledge, and experience within Air New Zealand to support their growth ambitions and build their capabilities.

Air New Zealand Chief Sustainability Officer Kiri Hannifin says that the Ka Rere programme is a way for the airline to help Kiwi businesses that are typically underrepresented in its supply chain.

“Air New Zealand plays a critical role in New Zealand’s economy, connecting New Zealanders to each other and New Zealand to the world every day.

“Supporting smaller and diverse New Zealand suppliers is another way we can contribute to the country’s prosperity” Hannifin said.

Air New Zealand has an extensive supply chain made up of nearly 5,000 suppliers.

These suppliers range from the likes of those who supply aircraft parts, complete construction projects, clean lounges, sell products on the Airpoints Store, to small New Zealand businesses providing snacks and drinks onboard.

Hannifin says there are many advantages to increasing the diversity of the airline’s supplier base.

“Like many companies over the past couple of years, Air New Zealand has experienced significant difficulties in its supply chain following the impact of Covid-19.  Inclusive procurement processes will widen our pool of suppliers and support greater innovation, diversification, and resilience.

There are also broader social benefits, such as supporting economic opportunities for smaller, diverse businesses that help their communities thrive”

Air New Zealand is seeking applications for the inaugural 12-week diverse supplier accelerator programme from M?ori, Pasifika or social enterprise businesses that have not previously had a contract with Air New Zealand.

Of particular interest are applicants with goods or services designed to make a positive and sustainable impact on Aotearoa.

Air New Zealand is working with intermediaries Amotai, Wh?riki, and the ?kina Foundation throughout the Ka Rere programme to ensure that it delivers meaningful results for the businesses involved.