New Zealand music royalty King Kapisi has joined forces with Mastercard to celebrate small businesses in Aotearoa that reach the remarkable milestone of being in business for 10 years.

This initiative stems from the recognition that there are some life milestones that are so impressive that they deserve a letter from the King – like turning 100.

But while the vaunted century is becoming much more attainable with the average Kiwi baby born today expected to nudge past 901, cracking it as a small business owner is as hard as ever.

Stats NZ’s latest figures reveal that among all the businesses that were founded in New Zealand a decade ago, fewer than 1 in 3 (28%)2 remain in business today. That number drops to just a quarter (25%)2 for those in Accommodation and Food Services, and Retail Trade.

Meanwhile, King Charles’ own Office of National Statistics projects that 1 in 3 (32%)3 of his British subjects born this decade will make it to 100 years of age.

Recognising this, Mastercard is championing these remarkable small businesses and their dedication by giving them the recognition they truly deserve: a letter from the King.

Ruth Riviere, country manager, New Zealand and Pacific Islands, Mastercard, said “We reached out to King Charles to see if he would be interested in this collaboration, but he didn’t get back to us. So we sought out our own local luminary instead: New Zealand hip hop royalty, King Kapisi.”

“As a passionate advocate for small businesses, Mastercard aims to highlight the magnitude of what business owners who go the 10-year distance have achieved. Many don’t realise quite how remarkable (and improbable) their achievement is – so Mastercard would like to change that and celebrate their efforts,” said Riviere.

Bill Urale MNZM, known to most by his stage name, King Kapisi, says he’s excited to get out and meet these incredible business owners: “I heard that Auckland institution and Karangahape Road icon, Eagle Bar, recently celebrated its 10 th year in business, so it felt like the perfect opportunity to give them a priceless surprise,” said Urale.

“I jumped at the opportunity to celebrate those who have taken a risk, ridden the highs and lows, and achieved this amazing milestone. That’s the Kiwi can-do attitude that makes this place great, and it gets my royal seal of approval for sure.”

Kurt MacIntosh, owner of Eagle Bar said, “Reaching this 10-year milestone with Eagle Bar fills me with immense pride and gratitude. It’s not just a business; it’s a place where our LGBTQIA+ community and allies have found a safe and welcoming home. These 10 years represent a decade of shared moments, resilience, and unwavering commitment to creating a space where everyone feels

“The fact that Mastercard and King Kapisi have recognised this achievement means the world to us. It’s a reminder that small businesses like ours play a vital role in our communities. I’m excited to see what the future holds for Eagle Bar and for all small businesses in Aotearoa. Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this incredible journey with us.”

Small business owners in Aotearoa who have achieved the 10+ year milestone can nominate themselves for the royal treatment via Mastercard’s Instagram page by tagging their business page. The first 50 will receive an official framed and signed royal recognition letter from King Kapisi while all verified applicants will receive personalised digital assets to proudly display in-store and via their digital channels. Three lucky businesses will also receive a special visit from his royal personage.


  1. Stats NZ, complete cohort life tables 1876–2021 (updated March 2023)
  2. Stats NZ, 2023
  3. Office of National Statistics

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