Fletcher Building’s Whakatapu Māori Leadership Programme is ensuring the business has a higher representation of Māori in leadership roles, a more diverse leadership team and a staff which is able to reflect and engage with diverse clients.
Fletcher Building is a global organisation with around 20,000 employees across 34 different businesses, operating in 40 countries. The Fletcher Building businesses cover the construction, manufacturing and distribution industries. About 10,000 staff work in New Zealand.
Whakatapu means “to grow” or “plant the seed”, and the programme, introduced as a pilot scheme in 2016, is focused on developing a pipeline of Māori leaders and supervisors, by encouraging participants to explore their heritage and what leadership means to them, and to develop their future.
“We want to allow participants to embrace their diverse background and abilities as well as grow their confidence and competence to achieve their full potential, allowing them to bring the strengths of a holistic and community-based culture to Fletcher Building,” says programme manager Emma Collins.
“Whaia te iti kahurangi ki te tuohu koe me he maunga teitei. Seek the treasure you value most dearly: if you bow your head, let it be to a lofty mountain – we use this proverb in our programme to remind us to aim high and search for what is truly valuable. It also encourages our Fletcher Building whanau to be persistent, and to not let any obstacles get in the way of what we do,” she says.
Fletcher Building partnered with the Centre of Vision and Leadership and Indigenous Growth Ltd to build the Whakatapu programme, which received funding and support from Te Puni Kokiri.
To ensure the programme was authentic and effective, it was built around an indigenous framework first, incorporating tikanga and universal indigenous values, then programme content was added in, says Emma.