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The Public Service Act 2020 requires public service agencies to build their capability to support the Crown in the Māori Crown relationship. Te Tari Taake Inland Revenue is doing this through our Māhutonga strategic approach, supported by our enterprise planning. It’s helping us to achieve this by:

  • enhancing our Māori capability and cultural competency.
  • bringing Te Tiriti o Waitangi and te ao Māori principles, concepts and practices into the design and delivery of our policy and services. This includes an effort to directly seek and incorporate Māori voice as part of this work.

Bringing together Tiriti perspectives, te ao Māori worldviews and our organisational perspectives will create an enduring organisational cultural shift. It will also help us to move towards being a Te Tiriti-based organisation.

Through Māhutonga, Te Tari Taake Inland Revenue is bringing te ao Māori into our culture, thinking and our daily work—making our spaces feel more at home for Māori staff and customers, valuing te reo Māori, and leaders creating space for their teams to learn.

As you can read here, we developed Te Pou o te Tangata, new organisational behaviours, which are anchored in te ao Māori concepts: mahi tika, manaakitanga and whanaungatanga. These provide us with a starting point for understanding how to use te ao Māori in practical terms.

Our people

To work with Māori and respond to issues that affect Māori, we are equipping our people with skills and knowledge that support them in their work.

We have developed Te Arapiki (staircase), our Māori cultural capability learning framework. 

Te Arapiki is consistent with the learning needs identified by Te Arawhiti, the Office for Māori Crown Relations and Public Sector Act 2020 requirements.

Foundational level learning is already in place, with modules covering te ao Māori, te Tiriti o Waitangi and New Zealand history and te reo skills such as greetings and pronunciation. Since January 2022, 302 people have completed the foundational level.

We have designed the full Te Arapiki programme, which will lift most of our people’s capability from foundational to comfortable on the capability framework developed by Te Arawhiti. For the smaller percentage of roles that need higher levels of expertise, Te Arapiki will also cater for those levels of capability.

The progressive delivery of learning assets will begin to roll out in mid-2024.

Te Mata o te Arero, our te reo Māori plan

The goals of Te Mata o te Arero are to have te reo Māori spoken, heard and seen every day.

Supplementing the foundational level language learning offered through Te Arapiki, our Whānau Māori have developed classes on te reo Māori, tikanga (practices), kawa (etiquette) and kīwaha (sayings).

Some of our people are also studying te reo Māori at more advanced levels. Te Tari Taake Inland Revenue offers a te reo Māori allowance for people who have achieved a certain level of proficiency in line with assessments run by Te Taura Whiri I te reo Māori the Māori Language Commission.

Te Tari Taake Inland Revenue is continuing the journey to bring Māori voices and aspirations into our thinking and actions. One way we are doing this is by using the insights contained in:

  • Tuitui te Hono Māori outcomes, a Kaupapa Māori approach that highlights Māori voices and their aspirations (or outcomes).
  • Haehae Whakarei, a framework to help provide services that contribute to and support better outcomes for Māori.
  • He Waka Tuia, an evaluation framework that helps us to identify what ‘good looks like’.

At the centre of this approach is what whānau Māori have said matters to them: oranga tangata, oranga whānau and oranga whenua. The holistic wellbeing of a person, of family and of the natural land.

Over the past 2 years, our policy teams have built their capability and approaches to engaging with Māori and understanding Māori perspectives. This has focused on learning about te reo and tikanga Māori and how to use frameworks such as He Ara Waiora in policy development.

An external reference group of Māori experts has been advising us since October 2021. This panel is helping improve our understanding of appropriate methodologies for engaging with Māori. They have also helped us to put into practice the frameworks built around Māori perspectives.

Our policy people have tested the analytical power of these frameworks in our project for addressing debt to government (which you read about here).

Payments that families relied on

For example, it helped us think more deeply about how Māori might view proposals or how solutions might impact oranga tangata, whānau and whenua.

From here, our policy teams can apply the appropriate engagement methods and frameworks right at the start of policy projects.

Delivering services

Under our Māori customer strategy, Mauri Ora te Whānau, Te Tari Taake is 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.

The Kaitakawaenga Māori Service is part of our community compliance group—they are at the forefront of working with whānau to improve our services. As you can read here, the rōpū (group) role models whanaungatanga —building enduring relationships with our customers.

Revitalising our work in communities

Understanding Māori data sovereignty

Māori consider that their data is recognised as a living taonga over which they have sovereignty.  We’re considering how we incorporate guidance from the all-of-government work led by the Government Chief Data Steward and Government Chief Digital Officer around Māori data sovereignty and Māori data governance.

Funding the Māhutonga programme

Our budget this year for funding the Māhutonga programme, a team of 7 staff to lead it, and Ngā Whānau Māori o Te Tari Taake was $0.9 million.

This does not include broader unquantified self-funded costs for activities such as developing learning material or staff time spent on learning.

Te Tari Taake Inland Revenue recognises the importance of people coming together to support and uplift themselves. Nationally, we have 12 rōpū (groups) that are bringing kaupapa Māori perspectives and practices to uplift and better serve staff, customers, whānau, hapū and iwi. Collectively, they are known as Whānau Māori.

Whānau Māori have taken an active role in building cultural capability and giving people at Te Tari Taake Inland Revenue a better understanding of te ao Māori. Some of the initiatives undertaken include.

Supporting te reo Māori learning

Ahakoa Kotahi me Kaha (Whānau Māori based in Te Whānganui-a-Tara) are facilitating te reo Māori classes open to all staff. With the tautoko (support) of Kaiako Matua Whetu Rangihaeata te reo Māori lessons came to life. Since starting, 327 people have registered for the classes and over 150 staff have graduated from them.

14 September 2022 was the 50th anniversary of the Māori language petition, and so the theme of Te Wiki o te reo Māori was ‘kia kaha te reo Māori’. Whānau Māori organised activities in each of our sites, centred around hearing, seeing and speaking te reo Māori to celebrate our taonga tuku iho.

Members of Whānau Māori in Takapuna helped create the content for our mobile phone app that launched in June 2022—Tūrama. Tūrama provides foundational guidance on waiata, karakia, pronunciation, mihimihi, pepeha and tīkanga. Whānau Māori across the motu have helped grow daily use of the app - 1,911 people have downloaded Tūrama, and visits have grown to 25,000 in June 2023 alone.

Supporting the Māori community

Te Manu Taiko (Whānau Māori based in Tauranga) were invited to Opureora Marae on te Moutere o Matakana, Matakana Island this year. As guests to the island, they were embraced within the whare tīpuna—Tuwhiwhia, where they learnt the history behind te moutere o Matakana and its significance to the rohe. At the time of their visit, there was work being done to re-awaken a marae - Te Manu Taiko contributed by tidying up the whānau urupā (cemetery).

Supporting Māori cultural events

Te wā o Matariki, the Māori new year, saw many celebrations. Whānau Māori took a leading role in building knowledge about Matariki. Highlights included the rōpū in Kirikiriroa organising a Matariki Market Day that brought together all our people-led networks, an example of whanaungatanga in action. Te Rōpū Āwhina (Whānau Māori based in Te Papaioea Palmerston North) held a traditional hāngi, with displays of manaakitanga, whanaungatanga and mahi tika seen throughout the process.

Te Tari Taake Inland Revenue has many taonga in our offices across the motu. We recognise the need to protect and, when necessary, take action to restore them. As we do, our people learn about the meaning put into the designs by their creators. Taonga help create an environment where both Māori staff and customers can recognise our offices as their spaces too.

In November 2022, taonga and tukutuku panels in our Manukau location were restored and reawakened after an office refurbishment. The panels were made by master weaver Hinemoa Harrison and her daughter Caroline. Their designs represents the many different people that we serve and the communication that's essential in developing good relationships to deliver our services.

Last updated: 18 Dec 2023
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