Working in partnership: embracing te ao Māori

by | Jan 25, 2023 | Hemisphere, Insight, Whakaaro

Hemisphere is different. We embrace working collectively. Working together to create solutions.

At Hemisphere, we actively work with Māori partners to not only create amazing and effective work that draws on te ao Māori but also to create new opportunities for whānau, to open doors to new careers, and to position Māori organisations to have greater impact. Whānau, hapū and iwi ora are key drivers for us.

Aotearoa is changing. Partnerships and relationship-based approaches to procurement, commissioning and project delivery are taking precedence. Government agencies, and those of us working with them, are exploring new ways of working.

The articles of Te Tiriti guide us in this new approach to mahi. The Crown principles revisited and rearticulated through WAI2575 provide a starting point not an end point. At Hemisphere, we look past simply employing Māori staff to focus on considering issues of partnership, of relationship, of shared power and diversified leadership.

Māori feature strongly in our ownership and in our operations, with shareholders drawn from Te Whakatōhea, Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Tūmatauenga and Ātihau. Our agency team – spread from Te Moana-a-Toi to Te Whanganui-a-Tara – includes experienced Māori communicators and cultural advisors, along with a growing rangatahi workforce. We’re proud to include staff from Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Kahungunu, Tūwharetoa, Whakatōhea, Ngāti Raukawa, and Ngāpuhi.

We work in partnership with some fantastic kaupapa Māori social enterprises and design agencies. Working in partnership shifts the power base. We’re working as equals, committed to the kaupapa. We’re bringing diverse knowledge, skills and connections to create authentic approaches to lift whānau, hapū and iwi.

We engage with iwi, hapū and whanau to co-create solutions. Whānau define the issue and whānau shape the solution. A whānau centred and led approach. This moves us beyond typical approaches that can stigmatise whānau and hapori to supporting kaupapa Māori solutions.

Our work at Hemisphere is about genuine authentic relationships. We partner to create reciprocal tikanga-led approaches that benefit all parties – building whānau capacity and capability while developing unique kaupapa Māori approaches to change. It is only through listening and truly sharing control that the articles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi can be upheld, and the opinions and knowledge of whānau truly appreciated, leading to effective, impactful marketing.