Our Champions for Change’s findings have made one thing clear: it’s time for Aotearoa New Zealand to ensure its organisations are taking into account the changing face of our country.
It’s this very thought that has seen our community featured in nzherald.co.nz.
“New Zealand’s changing demographic makeup means that businesses will need to put the building blocks in place now or risk facing a talent crisis in the future,” shares NZ Herald’s Damien Venuto, host of The Front Page podcast.
Soon 35% of the potential workforce currently under 14 will identify as Māori.
This is off the back of Antonia Watson’s note (ANZ chief executive, member and Co-chair of the Champions for Change) where shares that soon 35% of the potential workforce currently under 14 will identify as Māori.
“If we haven’t got pathways for them to come into the workforce and get to the senior roles, then we won’t have any workers left… We need to make sure that our organisations are thriving in the future.”
“Māori, Pasifika, Asian, they all have to feel like they belong. New Zealand is set up for a lot of problems if we don’t acknowledge that reality,” Theresa Gattung
Debunking the idea that giving opportunities to minorities is taking away from Pākehā, our chair Theresa Gattung says: “The demographics are clear: the population is ageing. But the Pakeha fertility rate is much lower than the Māori and Pasifika rates. Currently, only 25 per cent of those over 65 are still in paid employment – and even if you believe that percentage may increase over time and that more of us will keep working, you’ve still got a situation where it’s a largely Pākehā older population and largely younger growing percentage of Māori and Pasifika.”
“Māori, Pasifika, Asian, they all have to feel like they belong. That they can bring their best selves to the workplace. New Zealand is set up for a lot of problems if we don’t acknowledge that reality,” shares Theresa.
“Be more open-minded rather than defaulting to a combative stance and trying to protect their turf”
So what advice is offered to business leaders? “Be more open-minded rather than defaulting to a combative stance and trying to protect their turf,” notes Damien Venuto.
The issue—and opportunity—is bigger than ourselves.
“Be open to what we might be able to create in the future,” shares Theresa. “Whatever you believe about the Treaty, whether it’s the Māori of the Pākehā version, whether we’ve gone too far in reparations or not far enough isn’t the focus in this.”
As Damien notes, these words “implicitly require businesses to become less defensive and open up to the reality that there might be a better way to do things – and that’s even harder to do when you’re facing enormous economic pressure.”
Read the full scoop, including Damien’s full interview with notes on forward-thinking, the “best person for the job” equation, and more insights from our Champions for Change insights on nzherald.co.nz.