With the rise of the Matariki star cluster on 28 June 2014, people, organisations and communities across Aotearoa began acknowledging Te tau hou, the Māori New Year. Matariki symbolises the start of new life, in business we embody this custom in the sharing of knowledge and the fostering of relationships.
We talked with Kirstin Te Wao, Diversity Lead of our Funding Partner Vodafone who delivered a series of Matariki Wananga (workshops) to enable their people to better learn and understand Māori culture. These Wananga shared knowledge of the Māori Astronomy and Powhiri tikanga (welcome ceremony), and offered gatherings on Matariki and Whakapapa Whenua (local history).
Along with these wananga and internal communications, Vodafone are also celebrating Te Wiki O Te Reo Māori (Māori Language Week) from 21 July to 27 July, which falls in the last week of Matariki. Vodafone are promoting the use of Māori words and customs, such as a morning karakia (blessing), taa moko, flax weaving, music and art.
For Vodafone, harvesting core values in the Māori culture such as whanaungatanga (relationships) and manaakitanga (hospitality and generosity) allows their people to bring to life an understanding of “One Company, Local Roots” during this significant period. A diverse and inclusive culture helps to gain a better understanding of and connection to their people, whose backgrounds also represent the customers they look to serve.
As the Matariki star cluster sets for another year, we ask, what are you doing to bring Te Ao Māori (the Māori world) to life inside your organisation?
Nā Bridget Dawson, DiverseNZ Inc