Win/Win using Tiriti/Treaty values

In 2002, Housing New Zealand Corporation had developed a set of values and was keen to operate with these throughout its operations. The Corporation had done some work to develop a Māori housing strategy but was having trouble concluding this work and implementing it. 

How to position a Māori perspective in a mainstream organisation

The organisation was having difficulty knowing where to position a Māori perspective. Its options were:
  • Assess Maori housing need using mainstream processes
  • Soften the edges of mainstream processes when they clashed with tikanga Māori
  • Make other adaptations when cultural clashes occurred with other cultural groups e.g. Pasifika and other ethnic minorities

At the time Tony was working in HNZC managing the development and implementation of a Māori Capability Plan. Discussions with managers showed that the language of the business was very results orientated and systems driven.

Translating values into behavioural indicators
If a set of mainstream values was to have the ability to work in a more relational way, it needed to have different worldview values operating in a way that could produce a win:win result for all parties and the flexibility to acknowledge relationship protocols that were wider than those operating at the time.

The values were:
  • Respect
  • Support
  • Deliver
  • Learn

The key Māori worldview values relevant to the work of HNZC were:
  • Mana
  • Tapu
  • Manaakitanga
  • Rangatiratanga
  • Whanaungatanga
  • Turangawaewae
  • Kaupapa
  • Kawa
Through a collaborative approach with managers some specific behavioural indicators were developed. These were designed to work in the worldview perspective of the organisation and at the same time a Māori worldview perspective.

See the indicators

In 2009 I met an HNZC staff member for the first time. She said “Ah so you’re Tony Spelman. We still use your work in the Corporation. It’s the best we’ve had”.

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