Te Aka Taiwhenua
Meaningful Engagement with Māori
Te Aka Taiwhenua is our Māori Strategic Framework for working effectively with Māori and upholding our responsibilities under Te Tiriti o Waitangi (the Treaty of Waitangi). We have strengthened our Te Aka Taiwhenua team in 2020 to assist in implementing this framework.
The mātāpono (principles) of Manaakitanga, Whanaungatanga, Kotahitanga and He Tāngata continue to be the cornerstones of our framework and are interwoven in the mahi of the Department.
The Department contributes to the implementation plan for Maihi Karauna , the Crown’s Strategy for Māori Language Revitalisation led by Te Taura Whiri i Te Reo Māori.
The Department also contributes to Wai 262: Te Pae Tawhiti. Wai 262 issues are complex and multi-faceted, encompassing topics as diverse as intellectual and cultural property, natural resources and Te Reo Māori. Discussions have started across the Department to understand and address specific Wai 262 issues in a joined-up way.
Commitment to the Mātāpono of Te Aka Taiwhenua
Our Service Delivery and Operations Leadership team noho was held in July 2019 at Hongoeka Marae, Plimmerton. The theme of this noho was the co-creation of a whāriki rāranga (woven mat) that would depict a commitment to the mātāpono of Te Aka Taiwhenua. The idea being to weave harakēkē (flax) and kōrero (conversations) together to create a physical and metaphorical whāriki of combined understandings and perspectives. The end product created is displayed at our new Waterloo Quay site, so that it may be seen as an exemplar of how we embody our mātāpono.
During the weaving sessions, discussions were facilitated with the core values of Te Aka Taiwhenua as a framework to discuss in depth a range of other kaupapa that are relevant to the Department.
Through deeper discussion, people challenged their own ways of thinking and developed a better informed and broader understanding of Te Ao Māori in relation to their roles and mahi (work).
Conversations were also held around the importance of Māori-Crown relationships and what this means for the work we do and how we can improve engagement and connection with Māori. We also discussed how to practically apply and live Te Aka Taiwhenua through our work, revisiting the four mātāpono and being open with each other about what these principles mean to us.
Through understanding the value of these principles, we can then explore what they look like in practice, in the context of the work that Te Tari Taiwhenua does.
Taha Moana National Fono 2019
The 2019 National staff fono was held in August 2019 in Wellington. The theme was ‘Wellbeing’, weaving in the Mental Health Foundation’s ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’ initiative, encouraging good work-life balance. The main outcome of the Fono was to ensure our people left feeling valued, connected and empowered. The fono was attended by over 150 Pacific staff and our Executive Leadership Team on day one, which included a turou and ava ceremony. It was an important opportunity to come together, share experiences and celebrate our unique and diverse Pacific cultures in the Department.
Taha Moana is Department’s Pacific Peoples Network with approximately 200 members.