Otago Polytechnic | Te Pūkenga wins Mana Tangata Leader Award

Otago Polytechnic | Te Pūkenga has won a national award for integrating Māori cultural values and tikanga in the workplace.

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Recognising excellence and outstanding achievement within New Zealand’s HR community, the annual HRNZ Awards, held on Thursday 9 March, were particularly special for Otago Polytechnic | Te Pūkenga.

It was awarded the Mana Tangata Leader Award in recognition of its excellence in the enactment of Tikanga Māori-based HR practice.

This award is significant acknowledgment of the programmes of work across the organisation has implemented over many years, integrating Māori cultural values and tikanga and improvement in outcomes for Māori in the workplace.

“Implementation of the initiative was embedded at all levels across the organisation, led by a team within the Office of The Kaitohutohu (KTO) at Otago Polytechnic,” the judges commented.

Otago Polytechnic’s People and Culture team has been on a journey of developing bicultural competency that has enabled a significant shift in their thinking and practice that is more culturally responsive and inclusive for Māori. It has become part of their everyday practice and the way they do their mahi, with additional positive benefits for all.

The celebrations didn’t stop there.

Laura Warren, Deputy Chief Executive: People, Culture & Safety at Otago Polytechnic, firstly received the individual HRNZ Leadership Award, before being awarded HRNZ’s HR Person of the Year.

Ms Warren received the award for showing outstanding leadership for the HR profession through her implementation of exemplary practice at Otago Polytechnic and for her significant contribution to the profession overall in New Zealand.

The judges commented: “Laura is known for her pragmatic, authentic, and engaging approach and for the positive impact she has on all who met her. As Deputy Chief Executive: People, Culture & Safety at Otago Polytechnic | Te Pūkenga, she contributes locally and nationally to best-practice, people-focused strategies and workplace culture.”

“We are extremely proud to be acknowledged with these awards and the hard mahi that they represent,” says Jason Tibble, Executive Director, Otago Polytechnic.