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Te Ao Māori

Through our Te Ao Māori strategy, we are building relationships with tangata whenua to influence the long-term economic wellbeing of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Te Waka Hourua - our Te Ao Māori strategy

As New Zealand’s central bank, we are the kaitiaki (guardian) of Aotearoa New Zealand’s economy and financial system. 

Mātauranga Māori, or Māori knowledge and values provides a uniquely Aotearoa New Zealand lens for our decision-making. Taking a Te Ao Māori perspective supports our long-term aim to provide economic wellbeing and prosperity for all New Zealanders.

Our 3 guiding pou (pillars)

A critical part of achieving our vision of being a ‘Great Team, Best Central Bank’ is broadening our stakeholder engagement, our approach, and our policy knowledge to become a more inclusive central bank. 

We breathe life into our Te Ao Māori strategy through 3 guiding pou (pillars):

  • Policy impact
  • Advocacy building
  • Culture, people and organisation.

Policy impact

We are integrating the unique, intergenerational and long-term view of Te Ao Māori into our core functions by understanding how monetary policy and financial stability impact Māori businesses and vice versa. 

We also continue to broaden our knowledge and understanding of the issues surrounding access to capital and financial inclusion and contribute to equitable opportunities for Māori economic development. 

Advocacy building

We are broadening our strategic relationships with iwi, rūnanga, Māori-owned businesses, government agencies, central banks, and other Māori organisations. 

We are building advocates and partnerships that are enduring and mutually beneficial. We are also part of an ongoing dialogue to improve understanding and awareness of economic and financial issues faced by indigenous peoples.

The views and perspectives of the Māori organisations we have engaged with have helped inform our monetary policy decisions, our work on the future of cash and our review of the capital adequacy framework for registered banks.

Culture, people and organisation

We are embedding elements of Te Reo Māori (the Māori language) and tikanga Māori (customary practices) into our organisational culture.

The first part of embedding Māori culture is developing the art of storytelling. With the approval of Northern hapu Te Roroa, we have re-imagined the legend of Tāne Mahuta to connect with our stakeholders and tell the story of the Reserve Bank.

Another important part is ensuring we promote and embrace te reo within our organisation. To support this initiative, we signed a Mahi-Tahi agreement (MOU) with Te Taura Whiri I Te Reo Māori (Māori Language Commission) in 2019. Te reo lessons, tikanga workshops and other opportunities to understand Māori history and culture are also offered to our staff.

The strategy is supported by an internal cross-department ohu (working group), senior leadership guidance, and board oversight.


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