Diversity and Inclusion
A one hour introductory session on how Māori culture and values can help organisations understand, and be motivated to create, a culture that is genuinely open and embracing of diversity and inclusion. In this session I invite participants to consider not just adding Māori to the multi-cultural mix as a kind of clip on or check box – but to look at integrating Māori values in a meaningful way.The wisdom contained in Māori values, developed over the aeons in relationship to the world around us help create relational trust and wellbeing. This is a world of “I belong therefore I am” and creating a culture belonging is at the heart of “diversity and inclusion.”
Māori values are part of a philosophical way of being that creates mauri ora in a person, in the group and in the world. This relational wisdom is forged in an intimate, humble and participatory relationship with the world, developed through the generations. These values have stood the test of time – they teach people how to adapt and thrive in a changing world. Values are not singular, abstract ideals that don’t relate to each other. Rather, they are an interlocking system that connects values with each other and to context. Each value illuminates a dimension of relationship and can only be truly understood in relation to other values. They are relationship-base values that guide us how to look after each other, our rangatahi youth, our kaumatua/kuia elders, our unborn generations, our environment. They truly embody diversity.
Māori values emphasise practice, and often have the suffix ‘tanga’ tagged to the end: that makes the word connote action, a process, something that comes into being as it is practiced. They need to be lived. The tanga’s that are focused on in this workshop are:
- Rangatiratanga - we are all rangatira in our own way, a task of leaders is to weave people together into a unified whole
- Manaakitanga – more than just ‘hospitality’ but to care, give respect, be generous and raise the mana of others through acts of generosity
- Humarietanga - humility, one of the most powerful leadership qualities in Te Ao Māori. Your acts will speak for themselves.
- Whanaungatanga – community, Not a magical glue that just happens, but is an active building of community and connectedness
- Kaitiakitanga – look after our environment, reciprocity, our wellbeing depends on a health environment – kinship with all of creation
- Wairuatanga –the centrality of the spiritual domain in any endeavour in Māori life reflects a fundamental commitment to nurture a spiritually-centred outlook that emphasises the inter-relatedness of all aspects of creation. In organisations this means attending to the spirit of the place, its energy (i.e. its mauri)
- Kotahitanga – not just arrows pointing in same direction but a binding together in spirit of unity. A sense of togetherness. True unity in diversity.
Interactive, experiential workshops
As well as a keynote on diversity and inclusion, we work with a team of experts who take participants through an experiential workshops that brings these ‘tangas’ to life. Each team undergoes an experiential learning aspect of Māori culture. Each group will be tasked with presenting back to the others what they learned about Māori culture and values, and what can be taken forward into their organisation to create the kind of business they want to create. The participants to reflect and talk about how the tangas have come to life and how they might be included at work. After the time with the experts the participants return to the main room and give a performance about what they learned. Works best with around 60-80 people.