Te Aka Taiwhenua

Māori Strategic Framework

He Waka Eke Noa 2020 – 25

Our Māori Strategic Framework for Internal Affairs - Te Tari Taiwhenua, Te Aka Taiwhenua is progressing as the commitment to journey from the ceremonial to the more meaningful and improved outcomes for Māori. With the development of a plan, He Waka Eke Noa 2020 – 25, we have a long-term focus to achieve equitable, positive and improved outcomes for hapū, iwi and Māori. The journey is connected using three distinct workstreams, with each area overseen by two Deputy Chief Executives respectively. The three workstreams are:

  • Te Tiriti
  • Te Reo Māori me ōna Tikanga
  • Te Ao Māori.

Lifting te ao Māori capability within Te Tari Taiwhenua has seen the introduction of the Mataora Programme and also a te ao Māori approach taken to te reo Māori naming conventions. Te reo Māori continues to be a Departmental commitment and requirement, with Branches initiating regular in-house te reo Māori classes and kura wānanga (Māori approach to learning).

An enterprise approach to manage our Tiriti o Waitangi obligations and Māori Crown relations will increasingly become a focus over the coming year.

Two peoples are working as a team and looking at the laptop screen


Flexible Working - High Performing Organisation, Great Place to Work

Internal Affairs actively encourages and supports ways of working that are positive for our people, our teams and our organisation and that helps us deliver services to New Zealand. We do this in line with Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission’s Flexible Work by Default guidance.

Working flexibly gives Internal Affairs the opportunity to flex and reconfigure to meet the service delivery needs of New Zealanders. The approach also gives our kaimahi real choice in managing and balancing their mahi, family and personal life.

With the outbreak of COVID-19 in March 2020, our people were required to mostly work remotely, almost instantly, and continue throughout the various lockdown phases. Faced with the challenge of working in a completely new way, we worked together utilising technology to continue to best provide services to New Zealanders.

In June 2020, our Executive Leadership team agreed that Internal Affairs supports ways of working that are positive for our teams, our people and our organisation to serve and deliver for New Zealand and that our approach would be guided by the following four principles:

  • Needs to work for everyone
  • Not one size fits all
  • Part of who we are
  • Leaders lead out.

These four principles are at the heart of flexible working, providing guidance which supports the diversity of Internal Affairs. Our flexible working journey led us to develop tools, guidance, and workshops to ensure people leaders were supported in flexible working conversations with their people, and their people felt supported to work flexibly.

Branch experiments followed, enabling branches to explore how flexible working could be used as a lever to help address business challenges and enabled branches to measure the impact of flexible working in their teams.

The pandemic has given us the opportunity to accelerate our flexible working objectives, particularly in relation to delivering services for New Zealanders.

Creating employee value

Flexible working also helps create a more inclusive workplace where everyone can contribute to Internal Affairs’ success. Our approach to flexible working continues to develop; our approach has matured, and flexible working is now embedded into “how we do things around here” to deliver our services to New Zealanders.

Because of the diverse work of Internal Affairs, flexibility looks different across teams, for individuals and in different jobs. Flexibility includes the ability to work from home, differing start and finish times, part-time work, job sharing, and phased retirement.

Internal Affairs has supported its people by creating a flexible working toolkit with practical tools and guidance, including a workshop to support managers to have flexible working conversations with their people, a template for a team charter, guidance for managing remote teams and collaboration tools that enable people to stay connected.

Our people value flexible working highly and we understand that flexible working looks different for each branch, team, and person, and it’s about finding what works for everyone to ensure we continue to provide our excellent mahi to the communities of Aotearoa.

Feedback from Internal Affairs’ annual Whakahoki Kōrero - Your Feedback Survey found that 96% of kaimahi felt that flexible working was important to them. 80% of respondents also said their manager supports them to work flexibly and 75% said they are encouraged to maintain a healthy work-life balance.