Aurecon He Rautaki Māori: A Strategy Owned by the People

  • 2022

  • Design Strategy

Designed By:

Commissioned By:


Designed In:

New Zealand

Aurecon believes in creating a positive legacy within the communities we work and live. To help our Aotearoa (New Zealand) business nurture and develop Māori cultural awareness to act in the best interest of Māori communities, Aurecon developed He Rautaki Māori, a Māori strategy to provide direction and drive decision-making.

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  • For years Aurecon intended to create a Māori strategy that honours both legal obligations and the spirit of the Treaty of Waitangi to help achieve our aspiration of being a known and trusted organisation within Māori communities. We see it as an opportunity to connect the many existing threads within Aurecon and extend them in new directions. Our primary challenge was to develop a strategy that integrates Māori ethos into Aurecon’s culture and values, that employees and stakeholders own and endorse. Our second challenge was to execute the strategy meaningfully and inclusively through strong leadership and demonstrate commitment through actions.

  • By forming a steering committee and engaging Te Amokura, a Māori consultancy, Aurecon established and launched our He Rautaki Māori strategy in September 2021 through internal engagement activities: creating an Aurecon Māori waiata, translating Aurecon's purpose into Māori, leadership participation in Māori workshops, and Māori lessons for employees. To refine and drive its implementation, we appointed a dedicated Pou Arahi Māori Leader. The result is He Rautaki Māori, a comprehensive strategy that places people at the core. It develops our cultural capability to benefit our clients, our people, and our Māori communities and consequently supports broader social, economic, cultural, and environmental outcomes for Aotearoa.

  • Embracing a people-first design approach enabled Aurecon to create a Māori strategy that resonates with all. Since its implementation, we have seen a significant increase in employees’ confidence in using Te Reo Māori in communications. He Rautaki Māori guides embedding Māori principles and decision-making into the organisation, notably integrating Māori culture into the interior design and design process of our new Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland) office. Its impact extends to projects. The work on Manawatū Tararua Highway won an award by Diversity Works for its unique approach to partnering with Māori communities and commitment to embedding Māori world view throughout project delivery.

  • A key principle within He Rautaki Māori is Manaakitanga – supporting and caring for others. To achieve this, Aurecon’s physical environment needs to be welcoming and communicate our strong commitment to the Māori world view and our relationships with Māori communities and iwi. It prompted us to incorporate Māori culture into the interior design and design process of the new Aurecon Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland) office. A truly design-led project, the design process started with its name. Tracey Ryan, Aurecon’s Managing Director, Aotearoa ran a naming contest and invited our Tāmaki Makaurau employees to suggest names for the project. Among the many entries, Whakakāinga was chosen, which means ‘to make a home’ in Te Reo Māori language. The vision for Whakakāinga is to create a home, a place of belonging for our employees, clients, and partners that embodies the essence of our brand and values. Flexible, adaptable, collaborative, and digitally connected are the design principles. The new environment will support the Aurecon Ways of Working while strengthening the connections between people, place, and performance. The Project Design Team includes: • Figure Group, cultural advisors (Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei); • Aurecon, project owner; • Warren and Mahoney, project architects; • TSA Mgt, project managers; • BBD, Quantity Surveyors.