In February 2016 Ara Taiohi commissioned a report to inform the development of membership and resolution processes for the professional association to ensure they reflect Tikanga Māori.

Findings of the report were:

  • Kanohi ki te kanohi is a traditional Māori concept that emphasises the value of sitting ‘face to face’ to discuss key issues and seek resolution. A review of other professional bodies shows that ‘kanohi ki te kanohi’ is the accepted – and often only – method for expressing a commitment to tikanga and Te Tiriti.
  • The tikanga expressed in Ara Taiohi’s values, principles, goals – including the Whatu Raranga – Strategic Framework and Te Tiriti o Waitangi policy – impact more comprehensively on the membership process. In terms of the resolution process, it recognises that the Code of Ethics is effectively the tikanga for positive youth development in Aotearoa.

The report made several suggestions for the application form, selection process and resolution process – which have been included in the current processes and the planning for further development of these processes.

Some examples of those included in the current application process are:

  • Applicants can chose to meet kanohi ki te kanohi
  • Where needed we offer digital options
  • Applicants may identify their areas of interest and leadership as well as areas where they need more training and support
  • Applicants may declare their communities of interest and support (whānau, hapū, iwi/other Māori organisations)
  • Diversity of applicants is reflected in the composition of selection panels
  • Provide webinars and written examples on how to apply to make more accessible
  • As a result of the first membership round of applications the Membership Committee and Rōpū agreed that Māori must be involve in making decisions regarding cultural competency (Core Competency 3). The role of Kaiārahi was developed (cultural support and guides). Our Kaiārahi consider Core Competency 3 of every application and advise on the development of Core Competency 3 and its related requirements.

We have also developed a talanoa option in applications. While this is based on a Pasifika model, it is consistent with group/community models of applying that were recommended in the report.

Areas for future development:

  • Capability and resource to support a regional selection (including Mana Whenua)
  • Applicants may complete application in English or Te Reo Māori
  • Applicants may conduct interviews in Te Reo Māori
  • Producing training videos in Te Reo Māori.