Monday, June 24, 2024

Building tikanga Māori in Wellington Council

As the new Head of Māori Strategic Relationships at Wellington City Council, Karepa Wall says he’s motivated to build a team of empowered staff to help to create a city where tamariki prosper.

In this newly created position, Mr Wall is tasked with improving Council’s capability to build strong and enduring relationships with mana whenua and Māori, along with a talented team of advisors.

However, he says he also sees his role as instilling knowledge in staff, so everyone feels confident incorporating tikanga Māori in their work.

“I’ve been brought up with an innate feeling to empower and motivate other people so that together, tomorrow is amazing,” he says.

“This isn’t about me creating a relationship with mana whenua or iwi and having the Council elsewhere; it’s about instilling that thinking and capability into our organisation.”

Previously the Senior Manager – Te Reo Māori at the Ministry of Education, Mr Wall says the opportunity to have an impact on those who are thinking about the long-term future of Wellington is what attracted him to make the move to Council. 

“I wanted to bring that indigenous knowledge base and influence how we move forward as a Council, as a city and as the capital,” he said.

As a father, he is also focused on how the Council’s mahi will impact future generations. He says he is regularly questioning how our tamariki will prosper from the decisions being made today. 

“My personal drive is about making today better for our people who are going to be here tomorrow. A wise kaumātua reminded me recently that life is beautiful not because of the things we see or do, but because of the people we meet.”

“We have 1,800 passionate and dedicated people here at Council because we know that every piece of work we do has an impact on the people of Wellington.”

When asked what he loves most about Wellington, Mr Wall says, “I love how you can go literally from skyscraper building, to ocean, to the middle of the bush, in less than five minutes. Everything’s right here.”

“We’re so lucky to live in a culture-rich city where we have access to all of this – and an audacious goal to be the world’s first Te Reo Māori Capital City.”

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