The Importance of Working Biculturally

When an organisation promotes bicultural awareness, it is reflected in its organisational culture and values. By creating understanding between the different cultures working together, an environment of inclusivity, equality and diversity is created.

If individuals can identify with Te Ao Māori values, more effective and respectful relationships can be built among workmates. When people feel respected, they are more likely to think innovatively and contribute positively to successful outcomes for the organisation.

Te Tiriti o Waitangi2More and more organisations are seeking guidance in how to incorporate the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi - Partnership, Participation and Protection (Treaty of Waitangi) into their values. These organisations are seeing the benefits of this with a more engaged and connected workforce.

New Zealand is facing an on-going shortage of labour across all industry sectors. In order to attract the best candidates for roles, it is more important than ever to show that the workplace is inclusive and welcoming to people from all cultures and walks of life. To retain staff, creating a sense of belonging and alignment with the values of Tikanga Māori will help to connect them with the organisation and its culture.

Investing in creating a greater bicultural awareness in your organisation will pay off by contributing to a stronger culture and ultimately, achievement of your strategic objectives.

Authored by Kereama Carmody (Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Mamoe), Te Ao Māori advisor, facilitator and coach.

If you’d like some help with building a more biculturally aware workforce, contact Nicky or Kyran - 03 943 2373 or