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As an organisation comprised of team members representing a multitude of ethnicities, cultural backgrounds and experiences, it’s crucial that our company culture and celebrations reflect that unique mix of diversity.
This year, in honour of Matariki, we held several events for our team members to gather, learn and acknowledge the celebration that plays such an important role in Māori culture.
Many Kiwis have heard of Matariki and might have a baseline understanding of it, but many don’t realise how much more there is to the story than they first thought. To help our team get a better understanding behind the lore of Matariki and how the celebration came to be, we invited Te Kahuratai Painting, Graduate Teaching Assistant at The University of Auckland to come speak to our team members about the history of Matariki, the traditional ways of celebrating and today’s more contemporary celebration activities.
We held a flax star weaving class for team members using flax harvested from nearby, and had two food trucks on site, including a vendor specialising in traditional and Māori kai. We also invited a local school Kapa Haka group to perform at our Store Support Office in Northcote. Their moving performance touched many of our team members hearts and brought all of our team closer to understanding more about Maori culture.
As Kristen Weitz, Head of People Experience at The Warehouse Group, says: “The Warehouse Group is committed to making sure that diversity and inclusion is a big part of our workforce and our daily lives. This Matariki celebration is one element of building that diversity and inclusion across the organisation. It helps our team get a better understanding of what our background is and really brings the spirit of Matariki it to life, whether you’ve celebrated before or not.”
Take a look at our celebrations unfolded in the video below.