Our Te Kaa journey


Te Kaa course gave us a full cultural context in working and collaborating with Māori. Some of the essential takeaways were respecting and practicing reo, exploring Te Tiriti o Waitangi, learning about Māori values and tikanga, and looking at New Zealand history through the eyes and experiences of Māori of whom we are committed to support.

We enjoyed learning to pronounce reo the right way and talking about the Treaty with facilitators who have so much mana, and knowledge about this important agreement. The sessions really opened our eyes to the amazing work many of our iwi have done to champion manaakitanga, kaitiakitanga, rangatiratanga, whānaungatanga for their people. 

We were supported on our journey by Precious Clark, Te Kaa creator and Kataraina Davis, co-lead facilitator. Both wahine are affiliated with Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei. They even enabled some of our hoamahi/work colleagues to reignite their Māori connection—an extremely special and personal experience that unexpectedly struck deep into our hearts. So when one of our team mates participated in a kaikaranga, let’s just say our bodies responded with either goosebumps or tears.

Our last session was done on the historical grounds of the Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei marae, our country’s most prominent symbol of Māori land alienation by pakeha. Here we had an opportunity to talk about health equity with Summer Hawke, GM of Population Health at Counties Manukau DHB. Summer manages the number one quit-smoking campaign in the country. She challenged us to identify the difference between equity of access vs equity of outcomes, to explore needs-based equity vs indigenous equity, and encouraged us to work with both evidence and insights data.

The people who attended the course will brainstorm on how we can keep Te Kaa fire aflame, through our individual roles, teams, across the organisation and in our communities.



Published 10 December 2012