IAG New Zealand has been announced as a finalist at this year’s Diversity Works New Zealand Awards.
The awards celebrate the organisations around Aotearoa that are championing diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
The insurer is a finalist in the Cultural Celebration category for its Te Reo Talk webseries, which was born out of an idea from IAG’s Māori Employee Group about 18 months ago.
The internal webseries is fortnightly and features kupu hou (new words), phrases and whakatauki (proverbs) that IAG employees are encouraged to use, as well as pronunciation basics to ensure te reo is used accurately.
Diversity Works NZ announced the finalists today (June 5), with IAG one of four finalists, including Air New Zealand, HSBC New Zealand and Downer New Zealand. The awards gala, where winners will be announced, will be held August 28 2019.
One of IAG’s Te Reo Talk members, Marcelle Pio, says the news is welcome recognition of the mahi of the Māori Employee Group.
"E kiia nei te kōrero a tōku tipuna a Tauputaputa hei whai atu i tōnā whaiāipo: 'Whāia te iti kahurangi ki te tuohu koe me he maunga teitei.' Ko te iti kahurangi e kōrerohia nei au, ko tōku reo. Maimoatia te reo Māori!
"In the words of my ancestor Tauputaputa: 'Seek the treasure you value most dearly, should you bow your head, let it be to a lofty mountain.' Indeed, Te Reo Māori is one of my most valued treasures. It's exciting that IAG is taking steps to engage with, speak with and advocate for the unique role that the Māori culture, knowledge and history has on New Zealand’s identity and it's even more exciting to have this acknowledged through a finalist placement at the Diversity Works NZ Awards. What this tells me is that the mountain is not as lofty as it once was and we are on our way up. Cherish the language!"
Another member of the rōpu, Lavinia Taylor, says the nomination is a huge achievement.
"'Tōku reo, tōku ohooho, tōku reo, tōku māpihi maurea'. My language is my awakening, my language is the window to my soul'.
"To me, the finalist placement in the Diversity Works New Zealand awards validates the journey embarked on towards recognising Te Reo Māori as more than just a spoken language. By IAG genuinely embracing Te Reo Māori in this way, I feel more connected to my language and it enables me to share this meaningful connection with others around me."
Visit the Diversity Works NZ website for more information.