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A Māori working group was formed in partnership with the Organisational Development team to explore and support the attraction, retention and development of Māori. Wānanga with the working group, and guidance from Inland Revenue’s Māori Crown relations team - Te Kāhui Tūhono, informed the approach to this mahi. Prompt feedback from the working group indicated that as tangata whenua, and in accordance with Te Tiriti principles, Māori should not be considered as stakeholders but instead as equal partners, and not be treated as an ethnic minority.

Reflecting on this feedback, Inland Revenue began thinking about how we might focus on Māori in parallel with our Pacific, ethnic, and underrepresented communities. We will continue the inclusion of Māori, in a partnership approach, in conversations and decisions for the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion mahi.

Further considerations to the parallel focus decision included:

  • cultural practices based in te ao Māori are required to be protected by Te Tiriti o Waitangi
  • there are some practices and strategies from within te ao Māori that have been gifted to Inland Revenue or the Crown – then there are others within te ao Māori that belong with Māori
  • many actions for both Māori and other underrepresented communities will be similar – the inclusion of all groups in the discussion will help to achieve broader, more well-rounded outcomes
  • these conversations may also provide other underrepresented communities with a deeper understanding of te ao Māori perspectives and practices.

To achieve the parallel streams, Te Tari Taake Inland Revenue has leveraged He Awa Whiria – Braided rivers in: Sociocultural Realities: Exploring new horizons (A., & S. Macfarlane, and M. Webber, 2015). This methodology maintains the mana and status of both te ao Māori and other underrepresented communities (as represented in the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion roadmap).

How: Using the metaphor of the braided streams, where career outcomes for Māori require approaches based in te ao for example; tuakana-teina (Māori mentorship model) - the streams will remain seperated - Māori will be provided the space and support to work through this. Where the outcomes for the groups are similar - the streams come together - Māori and the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Working Group will work together, facilitated by the Organisational Development team, to enable a broader perspective and achieve well rounded actions and outcomes.

Using the braided rivers approach enables Inland Revenue to:

  • enhance the Tiriti-based approach through active partnership and participation
  • focus on Māori representation throughout all levels of the organisation
  • focus on the retention and career development of Māori, in a culturally safe and appropriate environment, to support more Māori and wāhine Māori into senior and technical roles
  • enable wider te ao Māori understanding and capability across the organisation.

Listen to culture: Māori scholars’ plea to researchers

Last updated: 11 Jan 2024
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