One of the responsibilities of the Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti portfolio is to ensure that public sector engagement with Māori is meaningful. The Office for Māori Crown Relations - Te Arawhiti will assist agencies to improve their engagement with Māori by providing guidance and advice directly to agencies contemplating or undertaking engagement with Māori. The office will also provide tools, resources and training opportunities.
The quality and regularity of Māori Crown engagement currently varies across the public sector. One of the priorities of this portfolio is to reset the way the government engages with Māori. Effective engagement is critical to producing better quality outcomes for both Maori and the government, and ensuring Treaty obligations are honoured. It also contributes to the development of effective policy options where they impact on Māori and assist agencies to provide robust advice to Ministers.
Every public servant should have the skills and ability to work with Māori and respond to issues that affect Māori. A focus across government to raise the capability of public servants will result in enhanced responsiveness to issues of importance to Māori.
Values of engagement
It is the Government’s intent that engagement with Māori and the Māori Crown relationship itself be guided by the following values:
Partnership - the Crown and Māori will act reasonably, honourably and in good faith towards each other as Treaty partners.
Participation - the Crown will encourage, and make it easier for Māori to more actively participate in the relationship.
Protection - the Crown will take active, positive steps to ensure that Māori interests are protected.
Recognition of Cultural Values – the Crown will recognise and provide for Māori perspectives and values.
Use Mana Enhancing Processes - recognising the process is as important as the end point; the Crown will commit to early engagement and ongoing attention to the relationship.
These values provide a basis for working with Māori to respond to their range of needs, aspirations, rights and interests and provide active partnership with Māori in the design and implementation of processes and outcomes sought.
Tools and Resources
Building capability to meaningfully engage with Māori is a continuous area of development for the public sector. The Office for Māori Crown Relations - Te Arawhiti has developed the following resources to assist agencies.
The engagement framework and guidelines assist agencies in thinking about engaging with Māori, specifically:
- Who to engage with;
- How to develop an engagement strategy; and
- How to engage effectively.
The Engagement Framework was developed following a review of a range of literature. It has been materially informed by reviewing the current engagement landscape as well as what the Minister heard throughout the engagement process to determine the scope of this portfolio.
The Engagement Guidelines provide agencies with immediate, practical and implementable advice on when and how to engage with Māori.
Need more help?
The Office for Māori Crown Relations - Te Arawhiti work directly with agencies who are planning engagement with Māori where appropriate.
The office has a small team of experts that can provide guidance and advice while you are developing your engagement strategy. We encourage agencies to send a copy of their draft strategy through to the team once it has been drafted. The team will be able to advise if the principles of effective engagement have been applied and provide practical advice.