Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Huritao Whaiaro - Pathways to Pākehā/Tauiwi self-reflection in the adoption of Te Tiriti o Waitangi values within the public sector

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posted on 2023-04-10, 03:07 authored by Armstrong, Jessica

Research into the success of Pākehā abiding by Te Tiriti o Waitangi (The Treaty of Waitangi) as Tangata Tiriti, particularly in the workplace, is underdeveloped and attempts to uplift this success are sporadic. This thesis functions on the assumption that racism is an endemic issue, aligned with research and lived experiences of Tangata Whenua, to guide the process from their perspectives of change. Predominant elements of causation are group mentality, confirmation bias and privilege and are the primary causes detailed throughout this thesis.

Quantitative research of public sector understanding of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, alongside qualitative research encompassing the lived experience of Tangata Whenua, are the methodologies for perspective collection. Social innovation methodologies such as focus grouping, conversations and observations supplement the former, giving the deeper understanding to the impact of change proposed. This research deduces that behavioural change through workshop participation, is adaptable to encouraging Pākehā to align themselves within the framework of being Tangata Tiriti. Through providing the adequate space for reflection, along with carefully worded prompts, the opportunity for a seed to be planted in personal growth or understanding of Te Tiriti o Waitangi is presented, allowing potential for flow on effects to begin institutional change.

Integrating behaviour change theory into the public sector, with the specific focus of improving alignment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi, has the potential to bring forward institutional, systemic and behaviour change in order to build a public sector that represents Māori and Tangata Whenua equitably.

This thesis is an analysis of Pākehā perpetuated harm, where discussions of racism, both personal and institutional, are present throughout. Any persons perceptible to triggers of this nature please proceed with caution.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Design for Social Innovation

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Design Innovation

ANZSRC Socio-Economic Outcome code

130306 Workplace and organisational ethics (excl. business ethics)

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

2 Strategic basic research

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Design Innovation


Luke, Bobby; O'Sullivan, Nan