Published on 4 April 2006
Translations available in: français . Español .

Good Governance, Responsibility and the Waka

by Betsan MARTIN
Associated Central Topics: Governance, Human Rights, and responsibility .
Associated General Topics: Governance .

Dr Humphries worked closely with the Board of a significant government agency whose task it is to work with other government agencies, community and private sector organisations to enhance the working lives of New Zealanders.

Among the priorities set for this organisation is the urgent need to work with Maori and Pacific Peoples to see how the resources of this organisation can be better used to support their flourishing. The relationships between this organisation and other government bodies, and the relationship between Maori and other Pacific settlers and the Government are relationships that have had demonstrable difficulties - but also tremendous potential for collaboration in efforts to enhance not only the wellbeing for the parties concerned – but through this enhancement, the wellbeing of this country.

The metaphor of the two-hulled waka was originally provided through in our work with the leader of an indigenous environmental project, and is often used symbolically by people of the Pacific region, to express Pacific knowledge and experience. The waka represents collaboration in governance in this particular programme of work.

At a recent strategic planning retreat, Dr Humphries was delighted to note that the waka was worked with in by other board members as well as herself, to demonstrate elements of a relational ethic. The external consultant facilitating the retreat was fully aware of the publications and said that she has drawn on this work when needing to progress difficult relationship discussions. A senior manager at this retreat, newly appointed, but with significant experience throughout the Public Sector in New Zealand, and with personal and professional experiences in Rarotonga, saw immediately the scope and promise of the waka as a metaphor to assist in complex issues of diversity for Good Governance and Management. Further discussion is planned for the November meeting with a focus on Responsibility and principles of a Charter.

The collaboration between Dr Humphries and Betsan Martin has generated a number of international publications and research work that draws on the metaphor of the waka, and on notions of responsibility for organisational governance and management. Those publications are noted below.

Further Planning on Ethical/Good Governance

We plan to extend our work on Good/Ethical Governance, as a collaboration between the FPH and local groups with which we are associated, such as Boards ( the Career Services Board and the Conservation Board ), Community Agencies, Community and state Education institutions, Human Rights agencies. Our strategy is to create and facilitate governance seminars based on the early work with the Two Hulled Waka, and a Charter of Human Responsibility, and extend into an ethic of governance in which responsibility and relationality are prioritized.

A regional colloquium on Ethical Governance is been a project already considered by the Charter team, with approaches made to the Human Rights Commissioner and others invited to contribute. A Funding strategy has to be followed through in order to proceed.


puce Web Site Map puce RSS puce In-house news puce