Safely me, us, we

We are thrilled to have been named a finalist for the HRNZ 2024 – Learning and Development Award in the small/medium organisation category for our Maruiti Safe Haven Programme. This achievement is a showcase of collaboration between our team, Te Pou Ora at WorkSafe New Zealand and Te Puni Kōkiri in uplifting the safety leadership capability of Maori leaders in Te Tai Tokerau.

Check out the story of this important kaupapa here.

Maruiti Safe Haven – Addressing the wicked problem

Statistics reveal a stark reality – Māori experience 31% more serious non-fatal work-related injuries than non-Māori. ACC’s claim rate measures and Stats NZ’s Household Labour Force Survey show that Māori injury rates are 25-33% higher than non-Māori (2019-2021). Something has to change.

NZ health and safety processes are often designed and implemented through a western lens. To confront this challenge head-on, Te Pou Ora Whānau at WorkSafe enlisted The Learning Wave to develop a tailored training package that took a different approach: one that focused on improved safety outcomes through applying a te ao Māori cultural lens designed and implemented with and for Māori.

Working together, we crafted a learning journey that engages the hearts and minds of leaders through a marae-based experience – to develop new skills and the confidence to bring the full self to work and then safely back home. This involved:

  • Tikanga Māori woven through the kaupapa to increase connection to the Māori world view of wellbeing
  • Utilising Te Whare Tapa Whā to ground learning, create a common language, and build a set of values to lift safety at a personal and business level.

Since 2020, this kaupapa has impacted over 60 leaders from 14 manufacturing businesses across Te Tai Tokerau and provided them with a development opportunity that:

  • Lifts safety capability
  • Connected hearts and minds of them as leaders to better (and safer) work outcomes
  • Ensured leaders are better equipped to support their kaimahi and create a common safety goal.

The power of Mauriti Safe Haven and the impact that it makes is best captured by….

“The most powerful thing for me was to see hardened Māori guys break down in front of everyone and say ‘This is the first opportunity we have had to reconnect with our culture’. The core essence of the kaupapa was Health and Safety, but… this course made them realise that within their culture is a form of medicine that can heal them to be better role models, better fathers for their children. It instills positive aspects of Māori culture back into people’s lives.”
Eli Smith, The Learning Wave Facilitator

We are hugely proud that this mahi has been recognised by the HR industry in New Zealand. We continue to champion cultural responsiveness and safety leadership, ensuring we all go to work and return home each day safe, well and ready to perform better.