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Te Tiriti o Waitangi in work

A team meeting with three people sitting and three standing

Find out how Te Tiriti o Waitangi shapes workplaces in Aotearoa New Zealand.

What is Te Tiriti o Waitangi?

Te Tiriti o Waitangi (the Treaty of Waitangi) is a written agreement made in 1840 between the British Crown (the monarch of Great Britain) and more than 500 Māori chiefs of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Te Tiriti is important today because it set the expectation that Māori and Pākehā (non-Māori) should live and work as equals in a partnership.

Te Tiriti in your workplace

Many workplaces in Aotearoa are taking steps to honour the principles of Te Tiriti.

They might:

  • teach staff about Te Tiriti
  • encourage staff to learn and use te reo Māori and tikanga Māori
  • build good relationships with Māori communities, organisations and businesses
  • look for staff with Māori whakapapa and knowledge
  • learn from Māori about how to run their businesses in a way that respects Māori values and culture.

Three principles to guide your mahi

Te Tiriti o Waitangi has 3 principles you can use to guide your mahi. Here are some examples of these principles in action.

Participation

Māori and non-Māori can participate equally in the workplace, and Māori can have a say in decisions that affect them.

Protection

Māori and non-Māori have equal rights. There is equal protection for what is treasured. This can mean things you buy, or cultural things such as Māori tikanga and taonga (treasures) like te reo Māori.

Partnership

Māori and non-Māori work together in all parts of the workplace, from the shop floor to the boss’s office, and have a say in how things happen. It also means consulting with local Māori about shared concerns in the community.

Te Tiriti at job interviews

When you go for a job interview you can ask the employer what they’re doing to honour the principles of Te Tiriti.

The employer might also ask what you know about Te Tiriti and how you will use its principles in your mahi.

Prepare an answer by reading or watching videos about Te Tiriti.

You can talk about how the principles show in your work decisions and relationships.

Updated 12 Apr 2022