Hosts: Te Aka Wāhine o te Waipounamu Southern Government Women's Network

Venue: Online and in persons at Dept of Statistics, Ōtautahi Christchurch 

Date: 15 February 2024

Attendance: 26 in-person, 100+ online

Presenters: Dr Tracy Haitana, Ngārongoā Totoro, Annabel Ahuriri-Driscoll, Kea Krosschell and Lesley Herbert

Facilitator: Paula Rātahi O’Neill


In celebration of Te Tiriti o Waitangi the event panel discussed advancing equitable outcomes for Māori in our organisations.

Highlights from the discussion included cultural considerations in organisational culture and promotion. The speakers stressed clarity on goals, scrutinising policies for bias, and a dual top-down and bottom-up approach for change. Understanding Te Tiriti from Hapu to policy levels was urged to foster confidence and collaboration. As was asking questions, embedding policies in Te Ao Māori, and building relationships. Cultural competency, humility, and self-reflection were deemed crucial for public service leaders to create safe environments and advocate for systemic change, ensuring equity for Māori communities.
A huge thank you to Paula O’Neill who organised this event and those who joined!


Key takeaways

  • Make it safe for your team to be vulnerable Cultural humility If you feel you're not the right person to be in the room then say so; support the person who is better suited to be in the room, and you instead can facilitate discussions at the table.
  • Don't go into meetings to extract what you can get from the meeting but go into meetings to help and offer up your support. If we all had this attitude we will do more TOGETHER and not alone.
  • A team culture, safe space and willingness from a leadership team can be vital aspects in work spaces, in any agency.
  • Don't just come to the table with what we need, but listen and identifies ways we can contribute instead.
  • Look to existing evidence on barriers on equity. Look to existing work on cultural competency. Both Māori and Pakeha wāhine feel vulnerable at times on this journey - but it is in this vulnerability that we will be able to make change together to ensure we have culturally safer workplaces.
  • The challenges people experience daily when trying to navigate Te Tiriti focused mahi
  • Ko wai - the water will eventually get through

Feedback from attendees

  • Great learning experience for me, grateful to get insights from the panel on a topic that I think it's essential for public servants.
  • A great learning experience for me
  • Fantastic presentation. I appreciate everyone's time, given how busy they are, so THANKYOU
  • It was such a great panel session and so much covered.
  • Fantastic session thank you. It was all gold.


View of in-person attendees

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