Ā mātou haumitanga me ngā mahinga rawa Our investment and asset performance
We continue to invest in our ICT assets and work environments to modernise our services and ensure our people can work flexibly, collaboratively and in an integrated manner across government.
Our continued investment in digital technology enabled the Department to meet the increased demand for digital services during the recent COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown across New Zealand. Supporting this, our capability in enabling staff to work flexibly through technology was fully utilised, with our people able to continually deliver most services while working outside of the office, maintain connections through collaboration software and realise the benefits of working in different ways.
To best support our people in doing their jobs, we carried out two office moves (in Auckland and Wellington) into refreshed, fit-for-purpose office spaces aligned with our Ways of Working approach. As well as offering bright, modern and open spaces, the new offices provide a range of collaboration areas, flexible work stations and meeting spaces with video conferencing capability.
Resources and ensuring value for money
In 2019/20, we launched our organisational capability programme - Te Hāpai O. The intent of the programme is to drive and support success of our people at Te Tari Taiwhenua to deliver great outcomes for Aotearoa.
Through Te Hāpai O we will secure better tools to provide joined up, transparent, fit-for-purpose services enabling us to manage our money and our people, deliver on our central responsibilities, like Health and Safety, and respond to changing needs.
Pūnaha Whakahaere Tahua (uplifting financial capability) is the first area we are addressing. The programme continues to work towards achieving the vision of delivering a collaborative, transparent, and easy-to-use system for the benefit of everyone at Te Tari Taiwhenua.
Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust
In June 2020, we strengthened our relationship with Wellington mana whenua iwi group, Taranaki Whānui, with the transfer of the land beneath our Wellington Archives New Zealand and National Library buildings.
The Department completed the transfer of land under two of our key Wellington properties to the Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust, as redress under the Taranaki Whānui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika Settlement of August 2008.
The land under National Library in Molesworth Street, and Archives New Zealand in Mulgrave Street, was subsequently transferred to a Taranaki Iwi consortium (Tai Hekenga Partnership) under a sale and leaseback arrangement negotiated during the Port Nicholson Block’s 2008 Treaty of Waitangi settlement. The Department has 20-year leases renewable in perpetuity, to ensure the security of tenure for Archives New Zealand and National Library in housing Aotearoa’s taonga. The lease also ensures the consortium will receive a long-term and secure revenue stream for the betterment of manawhenua iwi into the future.
This arrangement strengthens the Crown’s relationship with Wellington mana whenua iwi, particularly for our National Library and Archives institutions. Mana whenua iwi now own the land upon which the nation’s most valuable taonga reside, including Te Tiriti o Waitangi (the Treaty of Waitangi). The land transfer is just the latest development in the existing diverse relationship that Archives New Zealand and National Library have with the local iwi. Mana whenua will also be partnering with the Department, other Māori partners and stakeholders to input into the new Archives facility on Aitken Street to ensure that it is built with the appropriate tikanga support and design elements to protect staff and our taonga moving forward. This is another step in growing and enriching our partnership.