Mānawatia a Matariki — Happy Māori New Year!.

Ngā mihi o te tau hou (Happy Matariki)

June 25th, 2024 - Barbara Buckett

With Matariki approaching this Friday it is timely to not only celebrate the past and the present but reflect on how we might look to move to a more diverse and inclusive future in the workplace.

It offers a unique opportunity for organizations to engage with Māori culture and traditions, fostering a deeper understanding and respect for the Māori New Year.

Toitū te Tiriti is not only a given but weaving Māori values into our employment relations framework is essential for the fostering of inclusive and culturally conscious workplaces.

Below are some ideas based on research and best practice that workplaces might wish to consider as we reflect on the future:

  1. Be guided by the principles of the treaty (Te Tiriti o Waitangi) in making employment relationship decisions – partnership (Whakahoa), protection (Whakamarumaru) and participation (Whaiwhai).

  2. Be culturally aware by providing training for all employees to increase cultural awareness to understand Māori values, language and customs and promote respectful interactions

  3. Encourage leadership for Māori to champion the integration of Māoritanga into workplace practices.

  4. Incorporate Māori symbols, art and design into the workplace environment to give Māori iconographic visibility. Such reinforces cultural identity and values.

  5. Recognise the relevance of tikanga in employment decisions.

Weaving Māori values into employment relationships is an ongoing process that requires commitment, understanding, education and respect for Māori and culture. The inclusion of Māori values and processes into employment policies such as restorative justice processes and conducting disciplinary processes kanohi ki te kanohi (face to face) is a step in the right direction, and employers can continue to include these principles into the employment relationship using the existing legal framework such as constructive good faith engagement.

Integrating Tikanga Māori into the workplace enables both employers and employees to cultivate a work environment that is not only positive and inclusive but also promotes quality employment relationships.     

Matariki is a time for reflection, remembrance and celebration. We wish upon the star for a brighter future. Have a happy insightful Matariki.

Note: BuckettLaw takes no responsibility for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of our articles. Any views expressed or comments made in an article are the writers option only. The content in our articles does not constitute legal advice. If you need legal or expert advice you should obtain specific advice about your case or matter from a professional. For legal advice based on your individual situation please contact us to speak with one of our expert lawyers.

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Barbara Buckett

Barbara Buckett is a highly experienced senior employment lawyer with over 35 years of practice in New Zealand. She provides expert advice on all areas of employment law and has a proven track record of delivering excellent results for clients. Barbara has extensive experience in resolving workplace issues and is an experienced litigator. In her free time, she enjoys reading, traveling, working out, and fine wine and dining with friends.

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