In the last 12 months our team has moved from a journey of reflection to actively developing a comprehensive approach to both honour the Treaty and integrate Te Ao Māori (the Māori world view) within our New Zealand business.
With the lessons learned by our Australian offices in the development and delivery of our first two Reconciliation Action Plans (RAP) informing our engagement strategy, we are committed to working with Mana Whenua (traditional landowners) to actively contribute to the social, cultural and economic growth, and wellbeing of Iwi (tribal organisations) and their whanau (communities).
We have focused on working with our Māori staff to develop, support, integrate, and represent Te Ao Māori within our New Zealand offices to ensure our people can cater to the needs of our community; and on growing our capacity and understanding of mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge).
We’ve continued to strengthen our relationships with Mana Whenua through projects like The Wellington Archives, working in partnership to foster growth of mātauranga Māori into engineering knowledge amongst our people.
How we plan to engage
New Zealand’s original Treaty of Waitangi set out to create a sustainable partnership between Māori and Non-Māori.
In this way, the Treaty aligns with NDY’s values, including mahi tahi (collaboration), and informs the foundation of our Rautaki Māori (Māori Strategic Plan).
We see the integration of Te Ao Māori as a way to enrich our offices and have a stronger connection to the people of Aotearoa (NZ) and whenua (the land), allowing us to share our passion and commitment to sustainability, and making our engineering expertise accessible to all.
By focusing on these foundational engagements and developing our operations and preparation to suit, we’re undertaking an iterative process that builds our capacity and capability to respectfully work within Te Ao Māori, through tikanga (relational capacities), mātauranga (technical capacities), and kaupapa (human capacities).
We’re hoping that the outcome will create equitable outcomes for all and contribute to new precedents in the international landscape for Indigenous peoples.
Here’s where we’re at
Sustainable relationships lie at the heart of the Treaty of Waitangi’s success.
At NDY, we value relationships. It is paramount that we engage with the communities in which we operate.
In New Zealand, we are developing our understanding of the individual Mana (authority or power) of Iwi in conjunction with Te Ao Māori and Te Reo (language). Here’s where we’re at:
- NDY’s New Zealand based Māori Cultural Leader is guiding our journey of engagement and growth in Te Ao Māori
- We continue to learn more about Māori culture, enhancing our awareness and our ability to work with Iwi on their projects
- NDY is making a conscious effort to incorporate Te Ao Māori in how we recruit talent
- Internally, we’re looking at our values and how we incorporate matauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) into our culture.
As our journey continues, we’ll expand our specialist design team focused on Iwi projects, with an in-depth knowledge of Te Ao Māori and the various considerations that may influence the design process. We’ll also continue to place emphasis on engagement with Indigenous suppliers wherever relevant.
Embracing the Te Triti o Waitangi
In order to fully embrace the Te Triti o Waitangi, there is still much work to be done.
Systemic change is required with a clear strategy and effective interface between mātauranga Māori (Indigenous knowledge) and Western knowledge systems.
We are making progress on our journey to grow Māori participation. Through education and culturally sensitive engagement, we aim to positively enhance our work with Māori stakeholders and make our offices welcoming for Māori to work in. Future actions will ensure appropriate engagement and development of a talent cycle to promote and produce relations with Iwi and Māori engineering as a whole.
NDY’s commitment and focus on ensuring the support, integration, and representation of Indigenous cultures within our offices enhances our mission of Making Spaces Work. Through building strong bonds and increasing our understanding of Māori perspectives, we believe we can create the best spaces possible for our whanau.