The team has been on a journey this year exploring Māori Systems and building our cultural capability.  This is to support our engagement on Māori interests and knowledge of Māori systems underpinning our mahi and influencing each of the conditions of systems change. 

Our Lead Systems Innovator Eddie Edmonds has guided and supported the team through this journey and the approach has been one of the most important parts to building trust and confidence and a collective understanding within the team. He waka eke noa!

We began this journey by creating a safe space for the team to ask questions and take the required time to understand and respect the culture. We made some key stops along the way including:

  • gaining a deeper understanding of the history of our local whenua
  • re-connecting with our roots and we all now know our pepeha and karakia
  • whakawhanaungatanga with the Ministry of Health’s Māori Directorate on a trip to Matiu Island
  • creating an exclusive Māori Systems Innovator role
  • reviewing and acknowledging Whakamaua: Māori Health Action Plan 2020-2025
  • learning and developing our Te Reo Māori language skills
  • sharing knowledge from Te Kāhui Māori mo He Oranga Whānau
  • learning the history of Nuku Tewhatewha, and;
  • commissioning a unique piece of art work called Te Whārua.  

Te Whārua is a physical storyboard incorporating the look of a valley (Te Whārua) and represents a way of storytelling by sharing the journey of the past using ngā maunga hauauru, waharoa for the present and ngā maunga rāwhiti for co-designing the future with any audience. 

The piece was created in collaboration with Noah Edmonds-Carter (Ngapuhi), Director of Carter Class Limited and is designed for creative workshops and presentations, to wānanga with schools, community groups, organisations and partners.  It is a taonga for all to enjoy and we encourage anyone to engage with Te Whārua and use it.

We reflect with pride on what we have learnt in 2020 exploring Māori Systems and we will continue to build on this momentum. We are committed to this journey and increasing our understanding so we are able to build genuine and authentic connections with people to improve the health and wellbeing of our communities.

Our Lead Systems Innovator Eddie says “It’s awesome to see our non-Māori colleagues connect with traditional Māori values in their own way. The language and culture is a taonga and when we invest the time to understand it and respect it then we all become champions for Māori in our relevant spaces!”

He tangata takahi manuhiri, he marae puehu

A person who mistreats his guest has a dusty marae; someone who disregards his visitors will soon find he has no visitors at all. This accentuates the importance of Manaakitanga, or hospitality with Māori society and culture.