Fri 5 Oct 2018

TSB team is ka pai

TSB staff have embraced a course at WITT that has schooled them up on tikanga and te reo Māori.

A team of 11 was welcomed to Te Pīere o te rangi at WITT on Thursday where their learning continued courtesy of a tutorial from Shane Cassidy who led the whaikōrero.

Shane, cultural advisor for Ngāti te Whiti, discussed the significance of the powhiri, waiata and hongi, and also explained how TSB staff would see significant differences if they were welcomed onto marae in other parts of the country.

WITT tutors Bernie Edwards and Ngauru Rawiri accompanied the TSB team, completing a six-week programme

Sarah Hall, TSB’s National Manager, Capability and Performance, said she and her colleagues had enjoyed a positive experience as a result of enrolling in the course.

They were becoming increasingly comfortable using Māori in everyday language and had overcome the initial awkwardness of the hongi.

Sarah Hall said much of the course was new to those who enrolled, including the powhiri. Some had no previous experience of being on a marae. The course attracted a team from TSB comprising some who were relatively new to New Zealand, and also New Zealand-born staff who found they had a great deal to learn.

The enthusiasm in embracing the course was emphasised by the delivery of a waiata by the TSB team.

Tutor Ngauru Rawiri has been particularly popular with students on WITT courses. They said she made them feel at ease and comfortable to be able to learn about Māori and things Māori - and it was fun.

There is a growing appetite within business nationally to be educated in tikanga Māori.

WITT and the Taranaki Chamber of Commerce teamed up earlier this year to give businesses a better understanding of Māori protocol and customs.

An introduction to Māori Culture for Business in March drew strong support.

Chamber chief Arun Chaudhari said at the time many business people were unsure of how to conduct themselves when meeting or working with Māori businesses and organisations and the course provided an opportunity to learn and clarify kawa – the guiding principles, policies and procedures – and tikanga, behaviour when doing business.


Pictured: WITT Academic Advisor Chester Young and TSB’s Head of Operations Kerry Clement (right) at this week’s powhiri.