Tahuna Te Ahi programme wins Deloitte Top 200 Award

By Regan Paranihi

The Tahuna Te Ahi programme developed by Indigenous Growth Limited for Skycity has won the Deloitte Top 200 Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Award for 2018.

This programme has a commercial focus but is delivered by connecting people to indigenous values and culture, and equipping them with tools to incorporate their culture into a business environment.

Skycity partnered with Indigenous Growth in 2017 to develop a programme that would support Maori employees into managerial roles with a focus on delivering inclusion, not just diversity, to the business.

Group General Manager Human Resources at Skycity, Claire Walker says, “What we know is that while nine percent of our workforce identifies as Māori, we don’t see this represented in our senior management.  We aim to change that by accelerating leadership development for Māori employees in addition to implementing initiatives which elevate the standing of Māori at Skycity more broadly.”

Walker says the programme has encouraged the graduates to connect with their indigenous values.

“Learning to draw on their cultural core and bring their whole selves to work has a powerful impact on their own development, and on how they lead and engage with others around them.”

Michael Moka, founder of Indigenous Growth, says he is thrilled to have won the award and plans to incorporate disciplines and benefits of the indigenous and western worldview into companies.

“When people are connected to their values and know how to be themselves in and outside of work, it gives people the mana, the power, the permission, to play their roles to the very best of their ability – to achieve their goals,” he says.

The Tahuna Te Ahi programme takes place over six months and includes five two-day workshops, a (rōpū) project, and personal coaching. 

The programme covers indigenous power and authority in business, decision making and mental toughness, leadership style and executive skills, authentic presentation style, and personal goals and development. The programme also recognises the special standing of Māori as tangata whenua and the indigenous people of Aotearoa.

Over the past year, two groups have completed the course, with 16 graduating in March and a further 14 in October at Te Puea Memorial Marae.