Including Māori values in their organisational structure is just one of the ways Auckland Transport is building its knowledge base around te Ao Māori and mātauranga Māori.
Māori Responsiveness Programme Manager Lillian Tahuri says when the values were re-written earlier this year, there was support from across the organisation for more Māori input.
“As a consequence we now have Māori values in Auckland Transport,” she says.
Those values – Auahatanga, Whanaungatanga, Tiakitanga and Manaakitanga – guide the organisation and Lillian says there is a strong desire among Auckland Transport staff to learn more about te Ao Māori.
Last year Lillian was part of the first cohort from Auckland Transport to complete the Level 3 Te Whāinga o te Ao Tikanga programme at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa and she says the course helped staff immensely.
Auckland Transport works with 19 different tribal organisations, meaning there’s a genuine need – and desire - for staff to have an understanding of tikanga, she says.
“They understand that we are building relationships and these have to be enduring, not just from one project to the next.”
“Everyone wanted more knowledge and understanding,” she says.
“They want to know what’s going on when they go to a marae, not just sit there wondering what’s going on. It makes them more aware of their own personal behaviour in that space.”
Lillian enrolled in the course to support her colleagues but also “because I just wanted a more in-depth knowledge around tikanga at a personal level”.
While Auckland Transport runs internal tikanga, te reo Māori pronunciation and Treaty of Waitangi workshops, Lillian says the Te Wānanga o Aotearoa course provides more depth to their learning.
She hopes more staff will be able to study tikanga with Te Wānanga o Aotearoa and says it has produced real benefits for the organisation.
“At Auckland Transport there are Māori-focused programmes on road safety, infrastructure engagement and the implementation of te reo Māori across the transport network.”