Hiwa-i-te-rangi is a three-year programme designed to bring to life our commitment to working with Māori as tangata whenua by improving the way we serve Māori communities. 

Māori are not only significant owners of forests and land (which is increasing through Treaty settlements and the Māori economy), but are disproportionately impacted by unwanted fires. We have a responsibility to better serve and connect with Māori communities.

To achieve this, Hiwa-i-te-rangi aims to:

Build organisational and individual capabilities to engage with Iwi and Māori in culturally appropriate ways.

Strengthen relationships that enable us to engage with iwi and Māori in the design of our services, policy and practice.

Through this mahi we're able to improve our service to Māori communities by increasing their equity in relation to harm from unwanted fire and other emergencies.


Hiwa-i-te-rangi asks all of us to improve our understanding and awareness of Māori culture. 

He Tīmatanga Kōrero is an educational resource designed to support you to start or progress your cultural education.

The guide takes about an hour to read and is supported by an online module on Learning Station, which allows you to test your knowledge, build your pepehā and be awarded Te Tohu to wear. 

Physical copies of He Tīmatanga Kōrero are being distributed through the regions or you can request copies directly via our team email below. Alternatively, you can download a copy here.




To support the content that you learn from He Tīmatanga Kōrero, we've put together an online module involving a knowledge check and pepeha builder.(external link)

 He Aromatawai - Knowledge check

He Aromatawai comprises of 20 multi-choice questions which cover the following topics from the guide;

  • Organisation's cultural identity
  • Te Tiriti o Waitangi
  • Tikanga and Kawa
  • Engaging with Māori

Everyone who passes this knowledge check will be able to receive Te Tohu. You can pass by getting at least 18/20.


Kohi kōrero - Feedback form

Once you've passed He Aromatawai you will be directed to a Teams Form which you need to fill in in order to receive your Tohu, this form lets us know where to send you Tohu and asks a few optional pātai on how comfortable you are with the key topic areas. 


Pepeha builder

If you don't have a pepeha yet, this is a great opportunity to build one that you feel comfortable using. The process lets you pick and choose what places and people you wish to include and gives you information on why having a pepeha is important for making an impact at hui.


 Kia rite? Ready? Click here to jump into the module.(external link)

Te Tohu is awarded to our people who have read He Tīmatanga Kōrero and sit the Kaupapa Māori knowledge check on Learning Station.

It symbolises your progression in your cultural education as well as your support for our commitment to working with Māori as tangata whenua. While wearing your Tohu we hope you will champion the kaupapa of Hiwa-i-te-rangi by encouraging others to attain theirs.


The shape of Te Tohu resembles a chevron, tying it to the concept of service and our unique identity as Whakaratonga Iwi – Serving our people.

The tip of the chevron faces upward, resembling the peak of a maunga and an acknowledgement of the mahi that lies ahead.

 Reflected in Te Tohu are the nine stars of Matariki, with Hiwa-i-te-rangi highlighted to represent our programme’s aspirations. You will also see the steps of the poutama, representing our never-ending journey to strive and improve.


 Te Tohu has been handcrafted from recycled rimu by a local artist in Pukerua Bay, Te Ūpoko.

  • By committing to work with tangata whenua we contribute to a safer environment not only for Māori but for all New Zealand communities.
  • Māori are our partners as community leaders, commercial leaders and as significant and growing land and forest owners. 
  • Māori are disproportionately affected by unwanted fires, and that needs to change.
  • To improve outcomes for Māori, we need to strengthen ourselves, our relationships with Iwi and Māori by including them in the design and delivery of our services.
  •  This programme belongs to everyone at Fire and Emergency and everyone has a role to play.
  • It is not only our responsibility to improve our service to Māori communities, but it's "tika", the right thing to do.
  • Reading He Tīmatanga Kōrero and sitting the online knowledge check is a great way to start or progress with your understanding of Māori culture.
  • By achieving and then wearing Te Tohu you’re able to show your support for our commitment to working with Māori as tangata whenua as well as show your progression with your cultural awareness and understanding.
  • Hiwa-i-te-rangi lays the groundwork for the organisation to build on over the next 10 years.
  • The programme is owned by Fire and Emergency NZ, and is driven by our leaders across the organisation and guided by iwi and Māori.

At the heart of the Fire and Emergency New Zealand Act 2017 is a recognition of the critical relationship that exists between Fire and Emergency and the communities we serve. This includes key partners in our work and those affected by harm from fire and other emergencies. The Act requires us to strengthen engagement with our communities, with operating principles that assist us in this activity. 

There are some demographic groups, primarily Māori and Pacific peoples, who are disproportionately affected by structural fires. Māori, in particular, are more likely to experience a fire, get injured, or die in a fire than other population groups. This needs to change. Fire and Emergency also recognises Māori as tangata whenua and therefore they are one of our key stakeholders in their roles both as key community leaders and as significant and growing land and forest owners.

To deliver effective services and improve outcomes for Māori, we must build strong relationships that enable us to engage with iwi and tangata whenua in the design of our services, and our supporting policy and practice. To contribute to community wellbeing and resilience, we must also become a more inclusive organisation and a more diverse workforce, reflective of the communities we serve. This will be part of our future success. It also meets our obligations under the 'good employer' provisions in part 7A of the State Sector Act 1988 to recognise the aims and aspirations, and the employment requirements, of Māori.

In July 2018, the Board made a commitment to improve this situation in a published statement “Our commitment to working with Māori as tangata whenua” and in our 2017–21 Statement of Intent. These documents set out priorities that together provide a foundation for the programme.

Hiwa-i-te-rangi was established in June 2019 and has been designed as a 10-year initiative, planned and iterated over time.

Hiwa-i-te-rangi is currently in year two; Ki te hoe! Take up a paddle and get on board

July 2nd, 2021 marked the official launch of the programme.

While the programme has been around since 2019, an official launch didn’t take place due to COVID-19, and we wanted to wait until our people had an opportunity to get involved in the programme’s initiatives.

This launch was also in time with the release of He Timatanga Kōrero, an introductory guide to Kaupapa Māori for Fire and Emergency, as well as the wearable Tohu. 

We have also established a focus group of Māori and non-Māori members that sit across many roles and regions in Aotearoa.  The group ensures we take a co-designed approach through the development and implementation of key initiatives.

The programme team are now focused on developing a pilot for a cultural competency programme for Fire and Emergency which will be rolled out from September 2021. 

You can read the current Hiwa-i-te-rangi strategy

Hiwa-i-te-rangi is a star in the Matariki constellation and is connected to prosperity and helping us to carry our aspirations to fruition. Hiwa means ‘vigorous of growth’. It is to Hiwa that Māori send their dreams and desires for the year in the hope that they would be realised.  If we are all in one waka, heading in one direction with no exceptions, it is Hiwa-i-te-rangi that guides us towards our aspirations


Piki ThomasPiki Thomas

Tumuaki Tuarua / Deputy CE

Email piki.thomas@fireandemergency.nz

Mobile phone 027 244 8784




Isaia Piho

Isaia Piho

Pou Whakahaere

Email:  isaia.piho@fireandemergency.nz

Mobile Phone: 027 221 5146




Amy Jansen

Amy Jansen

Project Manager

Email:  amy.jansen@fireandemergency.nz

Mobile Phone: 027 356 8612



Tania Curtis
Tania Curtis

Project Coordinator

Email: tania.curtis@fireandemergency.nz

Mobile phone: 027 288 4872




Caitlin Mackay
Caitlin Mackay

Senior Comms Advisor

Email: Caitlin.Mackay@fireandemergency.nz

Mobile phone: 027 753 4500 




As with any new initiative, pātai (questions) will pop up. Check out Ngā pātai me ngā whakautu - questions and answers to help answer any of your pātai. If you have any other pātai for the Hiwa-i-te-rangi team you can contact us via;