The Champions for Change Pluse-Check

Prosperity and our sense of Nationhood

Te Tiriti o Waitangi lighting the pathway forward


With the demographic and social sands of Āotearoa shifting, Champions for Change have a real opportunity to influence the sense of nationhood within our country.

More than 50 Champion CEOs and Chairs gathered in person on Tuesday 30 August to connect and engage for the first time in two years due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Following a moving pōwhiri in the KPMG lobby, roundtable discussions began around how Champion organisations can embrace Te Tiriti o Waitangi to foster prosperity and a sense of nationhood within Āotearoa.

The August Summit built on the Champions for Change workstream ‘Increasing Māori and Ethnic diversity’ and was designed to provoke new thinking and generate action around how as organisations and leaders, Champions can acknowledge and commit to Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Āotearoa’s first national acknowledgement of Matariki in June this year served as another important marker in the growing influence and integration of Te Aō Māori in our national identity. Champion organisations will create new value by committing to Te Tiriti o Waitangi which will lead to increased innovation and productivity for businesses and Āotearoa’s economy as a whole.

Champions gathered for a lively debate and discussion around:

‘What is the role of Champions for Change in leading the next phase of Āotearoa New Zealand’s sense of nationhood and how might we embrace the spirit and principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi into our organisations’.

An influential panel gave Champions a unique perspective on the topic. The panel, moderated by broadcaster Peata Melbourne comprised Riria Te Kanawa, Partner and Director Māori Business KPMG, Traci Houpapa, NZOM Director and Strategic Advisor, Ziena Jalil, Director Education New Zealand, EQC, Asia NZ Foundation and Economist Shamubeel Eaqub.

Insightful views were shared around the role of the private sector in using Te Tiriti as the guiding light to shape our ecoomy for the better. Panellists shared views around what our nationhood looks like today and how and why inequalities are created, as well as how we can lay the foundations to close the power gaps and influence policy.

Māori leaders joined roundtable discussions to provide their perspective and wisdom with Champions reflecting on what is holding them back from embracing te tiriti principles into their organisations, how they can accelerate the process and who to partner with for long-term success.

“The Summit created great enthusiasm and energy to embrace this kaupapa of acknowledging and committing to Te Tiriti o Waitangi, taking it forward both within Champion organisations and as a Champions for Change collective,” Global Woman CEO Agnes Naera said.

This session complements our workstream dedicated to Māori inclusion with a focus on reducing and eliminating participation, power and pay gaps over time for Māori across the Aotearoa workforce.

Māori are a young population and will make up a much larger share of the working age population in the future. Rangatahi will be the backbone of the future of Āotearoa, and we will all benefit from supporting them to be the leaders we know they are”, she said.