Cultural Advisor Māori, Billie Tait-Jones
“I love it because it keeps me connected with iwi, other ethnicities, and community events in our beautiful city including Taita, Porirua, and Hutt City,” says Billie.
One of the purposes of her role is to help the Council work with Wellington Māori to achieve positive outcomes for the community. “The best part of the job is the variety of work we do. It’s about nurturing and sharing our Māori cultural practices, values, and beliefs in a sensitive and caring manner to people of all ethnicities, both internally and externally. I enjoy listening and learning from them too.”
The results of their work can be seen in the opportunities available to residents and visitors alike to enjoy the city’s unique Māori heritage and experiences, in events co-ordination and collaboration with a Māori perspective, and joint projects with mana whenua with a vision for the future of our beautiful city.
Most of Billie's days are taken up with formal and informal cultural requests, monthly staff inductions, cultural events, internal and external tikanga and kawa dedication ceremonies, Council’s kapa haka rōpu, and lots of impromptu phone requests.
“We are the one-stop-shop for all Māori matters past, present and future, and quite often get asked where can they get mobility parking permits from, who do they make contact with for a family plot at Ngā iwi o te motu urupā at Makara, who’s managing this rōpu, that rōpu and where are they now!” she laughs.
Billie and the Treaty Relations team contribute to the organisation’s protocols at public events including Matariki, Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori (Māori Language Week), and Waitangi Day.
“We introduced bilingual sections on the Council’s website," says Billie "as well as bilingual signage in the offices, Council housing, parks, sport and recreation sites."
Billie is currently supporting our Treaty Relations team with the Effectiveness for Māori Framework (EFM) and wants to take this opportunity to sincerely acknowledge Council CEO Kevin Lavery, Director Governance Sally Dosser, and the Executive Leadership Team for their unwavering support to help make this kaupapa come to fruition.
“Ngā mihinui rawa atu – a huge thank you.”
Subscribe to the Nōna te Ao e-newsletter for more information about Council Treaty Relations, and visit the links below to websites giving information on Māori history, arts and culture, businesses, and education.