Our commitment to working with Māori as tangata whenua
Ko te pae tawhiti, whāia kia tata. Ko te pae tata, whakamaua kia tina.
Pursue distant goals until they are within your reach. Once in reach, hold and treasure them.
In June this year, in accordance with the 17/18 Statement of Intent and the Statement of Performance Expectations, Fire and Emergency published a statement detailing the organisation’s commitment to working with Maōri as tangata whenua.
Chief executive, Rhys Jones says: "The recently approved high level ‘Commitment Statement to Māori as tangata whenua’ is both a watershed moment and confirmation of the work that we've already done in relation to improving the fire and emergency outcomes for Māori and, by default, all of Aotearoa/New Zealand.”
The statement highlights that we recognise:
- Iwi and Māori as community leaders with an important role to play in preventing fires and other emergencies, building community resilience, and informing emergency response
- Iwi as our partners in risk reduction as significant and growing land and forest owners
- Māori are disproportionately affected by unwanted fires, and that needs to change.
“Our commitment statement is the Māhutonga (Southern Cross) to consistently guide us in the right direction to develop the organisation's strategic work programme to meet the principles and intent of our commitment to Māori as tangata whenua”, says Rhys.
The aim is that through our work, Māori will experience improved fire safety, less harm from fire and emergencies, and more resilient communities. Fire and Emergency will achieve these goals by building strong relationships that enable us to engage with iwi and Māori as we design and deliver services. This will require us all to engage in culturally appropriate ways. We will strengthen our cultural capability, diversity and inclusion, so that we better reflect and engage with the communities we serve.