This year, we have progressed a number of strands of work under Māhutonga.
This year, we have been looking at specific outcomes that whānau Māori have told us are important and how Te Tari Taake can bring this into our work. This project, Tuitui te Hono, has followed a Kaupapa Māori approach to highlight Māori voices and the aspirations of whānau Māori.
Tania Faulkner, Senior Intelligence and Insights Specialist, is leading the mahi. She's part of a Māori research and evaluation team that's bringing indigenous knowledge and whānau Māori voices to influence change at Inland Revenue.
"Tuitui te Hono is about growing a deeper understanding and empathy for the 2 world views of Māori Outcomes in the Māori Crown relationship. Inland Revenue has outcomes that we monitor and evaluate, such as ensuring revenue is there to fund the things that people value. Our team has been working to understand Māori-specific outcomes."
'Whānau Māori have told us that the 3 outcomes that matter the most are oranga tangata, oranga whānau, oranga whenua. The holistic wellbeing of a person, of family and of the natural land."
"We now understand what Māori outcomes are," Tania says.
"We can talk about how Inland Revenue might monitor, evaluate and measure outcomes in a tikanga Māori-based way."
Many other teams across Te Tari Taake are also seeking to deepen their understanding of te Tiriti and Māori worldviews. For example, Inland Revenue is starting to incorporate different frameworks into our policy thinking. These frameworks include He Ara Waiora, the framework gifted to Te Tai Ōhanga, the Treasury and Inland Revenue by the Tax Working Group as a means for thinking about waiora, wellbeing for Māori.
Policy Lead Charles Ngaki sponsors Tuitui te Hono. In July 2022, Charles and his policy colleagues met with whanau Māori to take part in research to explore how the tax and social policy design process that Inland Revenue uses interacts with Māori outcomes frameworks.
"An absence of Māori views in the policy process can result in policies that may not be relevant to Māori. This mahi is helping clarify for us the challenge involved in understanding two world views and then applying this in policy design."
Our policy teams are also benefiting from a new external advisory panel of experts, which first met in October 2021. The panel is providing us with an ao Māori perspective on the implications of tax and social policy and encouraging Inland Revenue to lift our critical thinking and engagement methods.
Research into outcomes is also informing how we think about our services. Last year, we launched our Māori customer strategy, Mauri Ora te Whānau. Under the strategy, we are working to be customer centric, build trust and partner with whānau Māori in a Tiriti-based way that is mana enhancing, mauri inducing, and whānau focused.
Mark Dawson Mau'u leads Mauri Ora te Whānau and says the knowledge gained from our research into whānau Māori has helped shape the strategy's timeframe and aspirations.
"Our customer strategy looks out to 2040 because the outcomes whānau Māori seek are for future generations."
Te Tari Taake is starting to work with different Māori intermediaries to build sustainable business and tax practices for our mutual customers. We've begun a trial of this kind of approach with Te Kōhanga Reo Trust. Together we're identifying opportunities to improve our services for the 460 kōhanga reo around the country.
Inland Revenue has also begun work to improve data on the Māori Economy, starting with engagement with agencies such as Tatauranga Aotearoa Stats NZ and intermediaries such as Māori authorities. Our aim is to get visibility of the ecosystem of the Māori economy and data that enables us to deliver more tailored services.
In June 2022, we launched the first module in a new online programme, Te Arapiki. Te Arapiki provides a structured way to learn the basics of te reo, te ao and tikanga Māori, and about te Tiriti o Waitangi. It's been designed in line with Whāinga Amorangi, the capability framework developed by Te Arawhiti, the Māori Crown Relations Agency.
The programme takes a stepped approach so our people can grow their capability over time. With this first rongo (foundation) module launched in June, we're now developing the next levels above it. All of our people will be expected to get comfortable with te reo and tikanga, and for some roles a higher level of confidence may be needed.
We've also launched Tūrama, an interactive mobile app. Tūrama complements Te Arapiki by helping with basic te reo Māori skills so our people feel confident as they start their learning journeys.
Te Mata o te Arero is our plan to actively support the revitalisation of te reo Māori and the use of it in our workplace. The plan underpins our contribution to Maihi Karauna, the Crown's Māori Language Strategy. In Te Taunaki, the 2021 Public Service Census, our people reported a lower level of use and encouragement of te reo Māori than the wider Public Service.
All of our people have access to a set of online modules offering the rudiments of te reo Māori. 681 staff have engaged in the learning this year - 789 people have in the previous 2 years. A number of our people are also studying te reo Māori with external providers - we recognise their learning with an allowance scheme.
Kaitakawaenga Māori are Inland Revenue's connection to our Māori customers. They are essential to developing our delivery approaches with their knowledge around the dynamics of whānau, hapū and iwi, as well as tikanga and te reo Māori.
This year, Kaitakawaenga have given essential advice and information on COVID-19 products both to Māori and non-Māori. They've spent time building relationships with Māori communities to help carry the messaging to the wider whānau of how to access these products.
We've helped strengthen the Service by appointing 8 new Kaitakawaenga Māori. Kaitakawaenga Māori are also looking at how they can focus on core work and delve into a much wider variety of mahi that impacts Māori, gaining more opportunities to connect with whānau on a day-to-day basis and be more present and visible in the community. This allows our people to acknowledge mistrust and work towards a better relationship for the future.
Public Service honours for our Kaitakawaenga Māori
Two of our Kaitakawaenga Māori received Commendations for Frontline Excellence from the Public Service Commissioner in November 2021.
Charmaine Ratima was recognised for her outstanding dedication to serving tangata whenua. Building relationships with customers takes a huge amount of patience, compassion and perseverance, which Charmaine role models. She works tirelessly to improve relationships with and delivery to Māori and all our customers. Charmaine goes above and beyond to empower her colleagues to do the same.
Ian Proctor retired in 2022 after 35 years' service where he worked to build relationships with communities and bring the voices of Māori to the Public Service. Ian has helped shift the way Te Tari Taake works with our Māori communities and customers at a grassroots level, bringing a deeper kaupapa Māori approach into our practices and policies.