Heartland Bank a finalist for Leader Māori HR – HRNZ Awards

02 June 2022

We’re proud to have been a finalist for Leader Māori HR at the 2022 HRNZ Awards, for our Manawa Ako internship programme.

Based on the concept of ‘ako’, meaning to learn and to teach, Manawa Ako provides opportunities for the next generation of Māori and Pasifika to experience working in the financial sector and within a corporate environment. It also allows our people to gain insights from the diverse thinking and perspectives that the participants bring to the organisation. In February 2022, we completed our fifth year of Manawa Ako. We had 26 interns join Heartland over the summer, and 45 interns the previous year. With a total workforce of around 500 people, these large cohorts mean we are able to sense, see and feel the effects of our rangatahi. This in turn, has a positive impact on enhancing Heartland’s wider internal culture.

Manawa Ako is the cornerstone of our Māori strategy and has supported us in embedding tikanga and te reo Māori into what we do day-to-day, paving the way for wider diversity initiatives at Heartland and acting as a gateway to being more inclusive of other under-represented groups.

Since its inception in 2017, Heartland has welcomed more than 100 Māori and Pasifika interns to our offices. We have employed more than 20 interns beyond the programme and have increased Māori representation at Heartland from 3% to over 7%, against an industry average of just 2%. We’ve implemented our Māori framework – Whāia te iti kahurangi – to provide a workplace and financial service that enables Māori to succeed as Māori. We’ve refreshed our company mātāpono (values) and made them bilingual and bicultural. We’ve participated in the Hīkina Māori Leadership programme by Indigenous Growth Limited, and provided sponsorship of Kura Reo Pakihi – a marae-based te reo Māori course for the financial sector by Reo Whairawa Limited. We are also proud to offer free te reo Māori lessons to Heartland employees. We continue to consult with Manawa Whenua (our Māori committee) on Māori initiatives and wider diversity objectives, and last year established Kainga Pasifika (our Pasifika committee).

Now in its 23rd year, the HRNZ Awards recognise the excellence and outstanding achievement of HR professionals and organisations leading meaningful change and best practice across Aotearoa. The Leader Māori HR award is one of two newly launched Mana Tāngata Awards. The Mana Tāngata awards recognise individuals or organisations commencing the journey to incorporate bicultural HR practices (Emerging Māori HR) and those demonstrating excellence in the enactment of tikanga Māori based HR practice (Leader Māori HR).

We are honoured to have been recognised as a leader of driving positive change for Māori and Pasifika in the business environment. Heartland is committed to supporting initiatives which foster diversity at all levels of the organisation and see the value in the perspectives our rangatahi bring to the workplace. Find out more about our diversity and inclusion initiatives.