CPO: 'It demonstrates respect for Māori culture and contributes to building an inclusive and culturally diverse workplace'
Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori, Māori Language Week, is an annual celebration of Māori language where New Zealanders come together to embrace te reo Māori, its rich traditions, and the broader goals of cultural revitalisation.
As part of their vision to build an inclusive and culturally diverse workplace, Anderson Lloyd has committed to embracing te reo Māori.
“Acknowledging Te Wiki o te Reo demonstrates respect for Māori culture and contributes to building an inclusive and culturally diverse workplace. It shows that the firm values and recognises Indigenous language and heritage,” said Kelly Pankhurst, GM People & Culture, Anderson Lloyd.
“We acknowledge that Māori language and culture are integral parts of our landscape in Aotearoa,” she said. "Recognising and celebrating Te Wiki o Te Reo provides an opportunity for employees to learn about and engage with Māori culture.”
Cultural intelligence program rolled out
Recognising the vital role that collaboration plays in this mission, Anderson Lloyd hired Māori consultancy NAIA in 2020 to co-create a cultural intelligence (CQ) program that has been successfully rolled out across all four Anderson Lloyd offices.
“To foster a deeper understanding of te reo and te ao Māori, we have established our regular ongoing CQ training. As well as this, we provide regular learning and development opportunities in our te reo and te ao Māori modules, on our online learning platform,” said Kelly.
NAIA also helped with the development of an Anderson Lloyd karakia (incantation), which represents the firm and aligns with their values.
“We were fortunate to have [NAIA director] Che Wilson join us in our Ōtautahi (Christchurch) office as part of our NAIA CQ program. Che’s presentation was shared across all locations, where he highlighted his journey in learning te reo and supporting the revitalisation of te reo, across Aotearoa,” said Kelly.
NAIA’s Che Wilson joined the Anderson Lloyd Ōtautahi office for their Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori celebrations (LinkedIn)
Vibrant Te Wiki o Te Reo celebrations for staff, family
Every year, Anderson Lloyd kicks off Te Wiki o Te Reo with a karakia led by one of their partners and the week always finishes with a shared kai, where whānau and friends are invited to join the celebration.
This year, a number of the Anderson Lloyd tamariki (children) also attended the shared kai, where they watched Disney’s Moana translated into te reo. Throughout the week, there was also a range of challenges and learning opportunities that employees were encouraged to engage with.
“We created wharewhare (bingo), which challenged staff to complete a series of activities including the completion of a te reo crossword, ordering coffee in te reo, planning their week with a te reo weekly planner, learning three new kupu (words) a day and practicing te reo with their kaimahi (colleagues) and whānau (family),” said Kelly.
Extending Te Reo beyond Te Wiki o Te Reo
Looking to normalise the use of te reo in the workplace, Anderson Lloyd’s dedication to te reo and te ao Māori extends beyond Te Wiki o Te Reo.
For example, they’ve integrated te reo into their office environment, meeting rooms have been given te reo names, te reo place names are now displayed on their website, staff are encouraged to incorporate te reo in their everyday communications and a number of staff are completing the Te Ao Māori for professionals course, run by Education Perfect.
“We realise that learning te reo is a journey and we are all at various parts of our journey, which is why we look to foster a safe and supportive environment for learning Māori language, and culture,” said Kelly.