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Towards equity: Improving outcomes for Māori

This professional development workshop was designed for management and staff of organisations intent on meeting and improving outcomes for Māori.
Grounded in current frameworks and guidelines in the health, disability, social and public sectors, the workshops have negotiable objectives, and are tailored to the current needs, policies and resources of each organisation.
It was developed and is delivered by Dr Tepora Emery and Ruth Gerzon, designed to support services to go beyond the traditional 'Treaty workshops' to look at why Māori still lag behind others in economic, health and social outcomes, and what services and government agencies can do to further meet the needs and aspirations of Māori.

Ruth has a long standing interest in the role of  Pākehā in supporting rangatiratanga.  Her writings on Te Tiriti and cultural safety and work in this area  are in the resources section of this website. 


During this workshop participants will:

•        Strengthen their skills of critical analysis

•         Recognise discrimination that creates barriers

•        Increase knowledge about the causes of disparities in Māori health and social outcomes

•        Share and review current organisational policies and practices that support successful engagement with Māori

•        Plan for affirmative action that can increase outcomes for Māori (within their organisation)



The content of the workshop will include but may not be limited to:

•        forces at play between cultures that impact Māori 

•        separation from culture and its consequences

•        organizational stocktake - evolving kawa and tikanga Māori

•        strengthening bi-cultural organisational practice

•        ‘Blue Skies’ visioning


Workshop structure

Depending on content and prior knowledge, workshops are one to two days long.

Follow up

Ongoing mentoring is available to managers during implementation of action plans developed through the workshop


Towards Equity is a  bi-cultural partnership between Dr Tepora Emery of Matāra Ltd 

and Ruth Gerzon of Inclusion Aotearoa – the facilitators. 


Dr Tepora Emery  is of Tainui and Te Arawa descent.  She works as a research, evaluation and facilitation specialist with a particular focus on Māori socio cultural and political development.  With a background in Adult teacher education, the social sciences and Maori health research, Tepora has worked with many organisations and institutions teaching about Treaty of Waitangi workplace policies and their meaningful application in practice.  Tepora is passionate about, and committed to, the achievement of equitable outcomes for Maori within both public and private sector services. 


Ruth Gerzon (M.Phil, Dip Tchg) is a Pakeha passionate about social justice and social change who has worked for three decades as a social worker, facilitator of training, board chair and manager of disability services. Throughout this time she has explored ways mainstream services and tertiary education institutes can better meet the needs of Maori, and the role of Pakeha in supporting such change.  Her interests have also informed her community based voluntary work in the Eastern Bay of Plenty, with its high Maori population.  


As part of our organisations on-going professional development, it is important for our staff to stay current with thinking around improving outcomes for Māori. All staff had completed numerous trainings around the Treaty of Waitangi and we were looking for something with more depth to create an even greater understanding of the impact of colonialism and the very real but invisible barriers that exist for Māori.

Tepora and Ruth spent time getting to know our organisation and the work that we do, and designed a workshop that addressed issues specific to us. Whilst this has the potential to be a challenging and confronting topic, Tepora and Ruth presented the information in a way that engaged staff and created an environment of honest sharing and the development of very powerful insights. Staff were able to celebrate in quite a unique way the positive actions they were already taking, but also reflect on areas where we could do better.

Staff have commented since the training that this was the best, most valuable training they have engaged in on this topic, and I have seen significant changes in their practice.

Tepora and Ruth bring a wealth of knowledge and experience, but also a style that reflects there thoughtfulness and respect. I would recommend them to any organisation wanting to make real changes in ensuring that we improve outcomes for Māori.

Toni Hocquard

Regional Manger

Stand Children’s Services - Midland




Workshop Rationale

In spite of four decades of Māori cultural renaissance and more recent Treaty settlements and Māori economic development, health and social outcomes for Māori still lag behind others. This workshop supports organisations to examine and analyse the reasons for this disparity. Participants and their organisations will be supported to consider and take further steps towards meeting the needs and aspirations of Māori.  

Ruth and Tepora facilitate at Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki, Feb 2017

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