Building its understanding of Te Ao Māori will result in the Reserve Bank better serving Aotearoa New Zealand, said Assistant Governor, Christian Hawkesby.
Speaking at the Mana Taiao Raising Māori Investment Capability conference in Tauranga yesterday, Mr Hawkesby outlined how the Reserve Bank – Te Pūtea Matua – was building and integrating a Māori world view, through cultural capability, policy and engagement.
“We are New Zealand’s central bank and Māori values are part of our national identity – how we see ourselves, and how we are viewed by the world. It is one trait that should mark the Reserve Bank of New Zealand apart as the central bank for Aotearoa.”
In addition to embedding Te Reo and Māori tikanga into its culture, Mr Hawkesby said the Bank had borrowed the story of Tāne Mahuta, with the approval of Northern hapu Te Roroa, to tell its own tale.
“In the same way that Tāne Mahuta is part of the forest and guardian – kaitiaki – of the forest, the Reserve Bank is guardian – kaitiaki – of the financial ecosystem. Our kaupapa is to maintain the highest trust in our organisation to ensure that Tāne will not wilt and lose mana.”
On policy making, Mr Hawkesby explained how the Bank’s mandate aligned with Māori values, by taking a sustainable, long-term view of wealth and wellbeing. In particular, the spirit of kaitiakitanga aligned with the central bank as an enabler and protector, creating an environment where inflation is low and stable, the financial system is efficient and sound, and long-term issues such as the impact of climate change are addressed.
“We aim to give New Zealanders the confidence to make long-term sustainable plans for themselves and future generations.”
The Reserve Bank is also engaging with Māori to better understand Māori businesses and economy, and build long-term relationships.
“Māori businesses are often values-driven, and profit is not the only objective,” Mr Hawkesby said. “Kaitiakitanga (environmental sustainability), Māoritanga (cultural security), Manaakitanga (social well-being), and broader intergenerational outcomes are key considerations.”
Mr Hawkesby said while there was still more to do, building strong relationships and understanding right across the economy and society would give the Bank the best chance of making good policy decisions and build confidence and trust.