How can leaders respond to a diverse New Zealand? transcript
Blue screen appears with text: How can leaders respond to a diverse New Zealand?
Text appears at bottom left of screen: Hingatu Thompson Manager Māori Health Service Improvement Service Commissioning Ministry of Health Manatū Hauora
Hingatu: I believe that in New Zealand, that we need to respond to Māori first. That as public service leaders we should all have a deep understanding of the Treaty of Waitangi and the history of our country. So diverse New Zealand must begin with Māori and the Treaty of Waitangi, so if you're in a public service leader role you need to actually take on that challenge if you're going to be effective.
Recently, about March, I heard Peter Hughes speak about the spirit of service and one of the messages in there that I think could be incorporated is around, know we are serving a much higher purpose, being public servants, we're here to serve others and in that we
need to understand the history and the background and a key part to our history is the Treaty of Waitangi as the founding document.
Now, one of the things I just want to encourage is that He Tohu is a great example now of a starting point to go and learn about the Treaty but it needs to be more than traditional knowledge, you need to know about the contemporary knowledge. What
are the impacts and how does it fit within your role? And that doesn't have to be complicated, it can be quite simple - that, understand what you do and how do you measure your performance and then have a look at that performance and say, "How we are
doing for Māori? Are we making an impact or not?" and within that space you should be able to identify, you know, there are opportunities.
One of the key tools we use is equity. While equity is a useful tool, it's not the solution. It's a measure of a failure and if we look at in the context of the Treaty, we're talking about equity as one example of failure to protect the rights of Māori and the Treaty principles. If you look at in that way it's a great place to start to prioritise and on what we should do as leaders and how we effect change, but the solution you can also look back to the principles and say look at the side of partnership and participation, so if you want to make a difference in these areas that we've got huge issues in, don't ignore them, don't accept status quo but look to the partnership and participation sides to do a co-design, is the popular saying now, but look at solutions for Māori by working with Māori.
I think the other thing and understanding the Treaty is that Māori aren't always going to share the same view, that actually while
government comes with a particular view on equity, Māori will come with a strong view on Tino rangatiratanga and their ability to
make decisions and decide, so as public servants we need to be aware of that and not impose one view, we need to engage in the discussion and I think it's a responsibility for all public servants. Kia ora.