Interview with Mavis Mullins, Paewai Mullins Shearing Ltd.

Kor Ruahine te maunga

Ko Manawatu te awa

Ko Kaitoki te marae

Ko Rangiwhakaewa te tangata

Ko Rangitane na Atihaunui a Paparangi te iwi

Ko Mavis Mullins ahau

Tihei mauriora

The Ruahine Ranges are my mountains

The Manawatu River is my river

My family house is Kaitoki

My eponymous ancestor is Rangiwhakaewa

I am from the people of Rangitane and Atihaunui a Paparangi

I am Mavis Mullins and these are the things that define me

I breathe the breath of life

Mavis and Koro Mullins currently lead fourth generation Maori family business, Paewai Mullins Shearing Ltd. a sheep shearing business in New Zealand. Over many decades the Mullins family have not only grown their business into a market leader, but have also significantly contributed to the development of the wool harvesting industry. All the while the family maintains a firm rootedness in and dedication to Maori culture, upholding its values and working towards the collective benefit of its people. In fact, the Maori people are establishing themselves as an economic force to be reckoned with.

Mavis Mullins has spent her entire life in wool and agriculture. She began on the ground floor in the shearing sheds as a woolhandler and wool classer and worked her way up to shearing contracting before heading the family business with Koro, her husband. The patron and director of many industry initiatives, Mavis has been honoured multiple times over for her business achievements and contributions to the community. What is perhaps most remarkable about this distinguished businesswoman is her ability to meld Maori ancestral wisdom and innovation resulting in socially responsible and sustainable business practices. Tharawat spoke with Mavis Mullins about Maori values, business innovation, and wool.