How does Groundwork work in relationship with tangata whenua?

Groundwork supports organisations to understand, develop and embed their relationships with and between tangata whenua and tangata Tiriti. Generally, Māori leading Te Tiriti-honouring change invite us to work within your organisation. When we are approached by tauiwi, our first question will be whether the organisation’s Māori staff or advisors endorse Te Tiriti education by Groundwork.

Before agreeing to work with your organisation, we will also check with you to understand:

  • the organisation’s formal and informal relationships with mana whenua and other local or national rōpū Māori
  • the needs and aspirations of Māori in your organisation, from leadership to staff, and the way these individuals or teams would like to see Te Tiriti education implemented.

How does Groundwork demonstrate and maintain accountability?

Groundwork is rooted in a movement of tangata Tiriti that, since the early 1980s, has actively responded to the call from tangata whenua to educate our own people about Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Within Groundwork, our particular focus is on systemic, Te Tiriti-honouring change.

In our daily work, our primary relationships are with tangata whenua working within those organisations undertaking training or a change process.

Jen Margaret’s public commentary on the role of Pākehā working as allies, and the resources she has developed to support Te Tiriti understanding and application, have been developed with the guidance of both tangata whenua and tangata Tiriti.

Are Groundwork workshops facilitated by Pākehā or Māori educators? Can workshops be co-facilitated?

In most circumstances, Groundwork workshops are facilitated by Pākehā educators. Over the years, we’ve found that Māori staff and/or advisors within predominantly Pākehā organisations often prefer that the initial groundwork of Te Tiriti education is done by Pākehā. We work closely with Māori within organisations to ensure our workshops support any ongoing work they are leading, which can include Māori presenting within the workshops.

What if Māori participants aren’t comfortable with Pākehā facilitators? 

We absolutely support the right of kaimahi Māori to decide whether they would prefer to attend Te Tiriti training run by Māori or Pākehā facilitators (or both). Kaimahi Māori should also have the right to decide whether they would prefer to attend training alongside their Pākehā colleagues or in a separate space. Many Māori staff have participated in our Pākehā-facilitated workshops over the years. We work hard to build an environment that is both safe and responsive and the feedback from Māori participants is positive and supportive of our approach.

What kinds of organisations does Groundwork support?

We work with many different kinds of groups and organisations working to honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi and to address structural inequities in their sector. We work with central government departments, independent crown entities, local and regional councils, and with non-profits and community groups. We have current working relationships with the Ministry of Education, Pharmac, the Health Quality Safety Commission, MidCentral DHB, a number of medical colleges and local councils, and many community groups.

Where does Groundwork offer workshops?

We are based in Te Whanganui-a-Tara, and the majority of our work is in or around the Wellington region. However, when working with national organisations, we are happy to travel to other parts of the motu.

Can workshops be tailored to our organisation?

Yes. We tailor our workshops to reflect the focus of your organisation and to ensure it’s relevant for your people. Foundational content about Te Tiriti is covered in all workshops.

Does Groundwork prioritise some kinds of organisations over others?

There is high demand for Groundwork workshops. We take this as a positive sign that organisations are beginning to understand the urgent need to incorporate Te Tiriti into their daily work. This also means we must prioritise our work. We are particularly interested in working alongside organisations that have a clear commitment to embedding Te Tiriti honouring into their work.

Can Groundwork work with organisations for more than just a couple of workshops?

Yes. In fact, we prefer to work with organisations who have a long-term commitment to implementing Te Tiriti into the organisation’s structures, policies, procedures and workplace culture. We rarely, for example, offer ‘Understanding Te Tiriti’ workshops if you are not also interested in ‘Applying Te Tiriti.’ We want to work alongside organisations to ensure Te Tiriti is reflected in your core business, to ensure there is a long-term plan that will outlive individuals and that will generate change.

Does Groundwork provide support to individuals within organisations?

Jen Margaret occasionally provides consultation or mentoring services to individuals playing a significant role in their organisation, in relation to Te Tiriti. Because of the high demands on Jen’s time, these services are limited and attract standard professional supervision fees.

We are right at the start of our journey? What should we do? 

If you are at the very start of your organisational journey, we recommend attending one of our public workshops and working through Ngā Rerenga o Te Tiriti. This resource, developed to support Te Tiriti application within community organisations has guidance relevant to any organisation wanting to engage with Te Tiriti.

How much do workshops cost?

Rates are on a sliding scale. The cost depends on workshop length, tailoring, the size and nature of your organisation, and the number of workshops you want. Please contact us.

If you want more information your question is not covered here, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.