Our people

Tipu – To Grow

July 26, 2021

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A Maori marae

It was a clear, cool morning and we were gathered outside the bright red and intricately carved entrance to
Te Manukanuka o Hoturoa Marae. The sound of a conch shell centred our attention to the whare nui (meeting house) and slowly we walked onto the marae grounds to the karanga (formal call of welcome). For a day we left the comfort of our desks, emails and scheduled meetings to learn about te reo Māori (Māori language) and tikanga Māori (Māori culture). At best we hoped that the song we had to sing together in support or our whaikorero (speaker) was over quickly; that our teachers would gently repeat words, enunciating each vowel sound patiently to a point that our sounds and their sounds were not so different; and that on conclusion of the day would have a few words of Māori under our belt and a nugget of cultural enlightenment.

What we learnt was far more precious. Within the security of the whare nui we shared stories, we sought to understand cultural belief systems that impact our customers and we ignited an appetite to learn more. As a team we connected and supported each other.

Waiho i te toipoto, kaua i te toiroa
Let us keep close together, not wide apart

This whakatauki (proverb) speaks to the importance of keeping connected, of maintaining relationships and dialogue so that we can keep moving forward together.

NZ-NON-00202 Last Updated September 2021