The Air New Zealand employees who make up Te Ara Nui deliver the powhiri by welcoming guests with karanga (welcoming call) and mihi whaikorero (formal speeches), and managing the tikanga with permission from marae kaitiaki. The group has also been instrumental in supporting cabin crew and whānau learning through sharing the story of the koru, and developing knowledge of Te Reo Māori and Māori tikanga.
Te Ara Nui, means ‘the great path’, and the group was also influential in introducing a cultural graduation ceremony created by the airline’s cabin crew and members of the rōpu to formally recognise new crew at the culmination of their intensive training at the Air New Zealand Academy of Learning. As part of the event, new cabin crew and their families are welcomed onto the marae with powhiri and are encouraged to share in the celebration of their loved ones graduating.
Air New Zealand Cultural Development Manager Henare Johnson says the marae-based graduations have been well-received by employees, their whānau, the community and senior leaders.
“Te Ara Nui enables employees to deliver the practice of manaakitanga, which is all about embracing differences and ensuring graduates and their family members from all backgrounds feel empowered from their experience.”