Whanaketanga Māori Māori Development

Whanaketanga Māori

Whanaketanga Māori Māori Development 

In February 2020 Jane Wrightson began her term as Mana Ahungarua / Retirement Commissioner. Following an early review of the status of the Māori development journey of the organisation, the Commissioner moved quickly to create a new platform for change to build stronger Māori language and cultural capability. Sir Professor Pou Temara and Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori were consulted to obtain a Māori name for the organisation which reflected this. The Māori name is: Te Ara Ahunga Ora Retirement Commission.

A Kaihautū / Director, Māori Development position was established in October 2020. In mid-2022, Erin Thompson (Ngāti Rangiwewehi, Ngāi Tāmanuhiri, Ngaati Tiipa) was promoted to Kaihautū / Director, Māori Development, taking over from Dr Kathie Irwin. 

Erin leads engagement with Māori to understand financial capability and retirement from a Māori perspective. She helps drive improvement in retirement outcomes for Māori by connecting and aligning the Te Ara Ahunga Ora Retirement Commission’s work with related industry and government workstreams. Previously the Kaikōkiri for the Te whai hua – kia ora, Sorted in Schools programme, Erin comes from a teaching background. She is a strong advocate for kaupapa Māori, te reo Māori, and mātauranga Māori, and has a wealth of experience in iwi and community planning and development, and iwi governance.

Te whakaurunga ki ngā kaiwhaipānga Stakeholder engagement

Who we engage with 

We work with various Maori stakeholders across our different focus areas, including: the roll out of the National Strategy for Financial Capability, the delivery of the many financial capability Sorted products and services, research projects and the three-yearly Review of Retirement Income Policies. Schools and kura are also part of our stakeholder engagement through the delivery of Sorted in Schools and Te Whai Hua - Kia Ora in Kura Kaupapa Māori.

Co-design is one approach that Te Ara Ahunga Ora will take in its desire to work flexibly when partnering to create better outcomes with iwi / Māori. Our preferred co-design approach is the ‘He Awa Whiria’ model, developed by Professor Angus McFarlane of the University of Canterbury. We believe this model is authentic to Aotearoa, can accommodate the Treaty of Waitangi and the dual worldviews which each Treaty partner works from, while delivering enhanced outcomes. A key feature of the model is that while a project may start and end in a common place, it offers flexibility to explore ideas through different approaches (worldviews) as it considers different options within a project’s life.

There will likely be times when a ‘by Māori, for Māori’ approach may be more relevant and we will willingly work in this way. Our work with Ngā Kura Kaupapa Māori, in the development of Te Whai Hua – Kia Ora, for example, is evidence that we can and have worked in a ‘by Māori, for Māori’ way with success.

The partnerships will be evaluated using a mixed methods approach appropriate for the specific partnership. Evaluation methods will include wānanga, evaluations, qualitative methods, and quantitative methods.

Tā Mātou Hōtaka Whakangungu Āheinga Ahurea Our Cultural Capability Training Programme 

Phase 1 of Te Ara Ahunga Ora’s Cultural Capability Training Programme was launched in February 2021. It addressed the commitments set out in the Public Service Act 2020 to support the Crown to fulfil its responsibilities under Te Tiriti  o Waitangi / the Treaty of Waitangi to create better outcomes for Māori. Phase 1 included: 

  • Kaimahi Needs Analysis to establish the level of cultural literacy among kaimahi, and what they wanted to focus on.  
  • Weekly virtual programme delivered kanohi-ki-te-kanohi in Auckland and by video link to Wairarapa, Wellington, Tauranga and Rotorua. Content included  te reo, tikanga, karakia, waiata, Treaty of Waitangi, case studies of Māori success, examples of Mana Wahine. 
  • Establishment of a Waka Huia resource page on the staff intranet.
  • Treaty Based Training through undertaking The Wall Walk, facilitated by Dr Simone Bull. 

During 2021/2022, as part of Phase 2, Te Ara Ahunga Ora will develop a Māori Strategy, with three goals. These are likely to be: 

  • To develop and implement a Maihi Karauna Plan, accepting where learners are as a starting point and working to move them towards active learning and support of te reo. 
  • To develop and activate a relationship with Ngāti Whātua, Mana Whenua where Te Ahunga Ora is based.
  • To develop and activate a Māori Stakeholder Engagement Plan  

Our Treaty partnership approach: 1. Te Tiriti/The Treaty, 2. Crown Agency/Entity: PSA 2020, 3. Critical Theory/Kaupapa Māori Theory, 4. He Awa Whiria. Braided River Approach, 5. Public Policy Māori Outcomes, 6. Māori Strategy

As an Autonomous Crown Entity, Te Ara Ahunga Ora acknowledges the significance of the Treaty and the ways in which it can inform the delivery of better Māori outcomes. The new Te Ara Ahunga Ora Māori Strategy will articulate the vision, mission and plan to create enhanced Māori outcomes. 

Te Ara Ahunga Ora’s response is informed by both the articles and the principles of the Treaty. The articles and principles we uphold in the following ways, workshopped with kaimahi during the Cultural Capability Training Programme.

Te Wānanga o ngā Mātāpono o Te Tiriti o Waitangi a Te Ara Ahunga Ora Te Ara Ahunga Ora Treaty of Waitangi Principle Workshop 

Principle 1. Tino Rangatiratanga 

Whanaungatanga. We recognise the diverse realities of Māori Society and will work with whānau, hapῡ, and iwi as Treaty partners, and Māori organisations as representative groups. We will work in ways that ensure the voices of Māoridom, including, rangatahi and mana wahine, are heard and articulated across all activations of whanaungatanga. 

Principle 2. Equity

Mahi Tahi. We will work with Māori to support and adapt the Ministry of Health equity definition. We will work to deliver to diverse Māori realities in ways that address inequity by focussing on both lifestyles (access to language and culture) and life chances (access to power and opportunity). The Ministry of Healths definition of equity is

In Aotearoa New Zealand, people have differences in health that are not only avoidable but unfair and unjust. Equity recognises different people with different levels of advantage require different approaches and resources to get equitable health outcomes (Source: Achieving equity | Ministry of Health NZ). 

Principle 3. Active Protection

Whakapapa. In this context, Te Ara Ahunga Ora take 'active protection' to mean that the work programme delivering on the organisation's statutory functions (for example, advice on retirement income policy) should be informed by structural analysis, including consideration of rights and strengths-based approaches while addressing needs and disparities.

Principle 4. Options

Mana Motuhake. We will take a 'He Awa Whiria' approach, a dual pathway approach, through the organisation's work programme, enabling kaupapa Māori advice and mainstream advice to be supported as appropriate. One size does not fit all. The diversity of Māoridom should be able to be accommodated in a flexible, organisational approach.

Principle 5. Partnerships

Kotahitanga. We will work flexibly with iwi and Māori agencies in approaches which prioritise authenticity. That flexibility will include: moving between tuākana / teina roles, sometimes we will hold the advanced knowledge, sometimes not; it will see the organisation follow rather than lead at times, the organisation can step back to create space for whānau, hapῡ and iwi to step forward; being humble as manuhiri in tangata whenua spaces, listening, observing and behaving with the humility of manuhiri. At times partnership will adopt a co-design approach, at times it will look like 'by Māori, for Māori'