Aims and approach

Culture Matters is an initiative which considers the underlying principles that apply in relation to diversity based on any dimension of culture: age, gender, nationality, sexual orientation, religion, class, ethnicity.

Our objectives:

  • to promote understanding of how to work more effectively in a culturally diverse environment
  • to encourage and assist organisations to develop and apply policies which promote equity for cultural groups
  • to facilitate and disseminate relevant research which includes identifying priorities, undertaking research, and supporting others in relevant research initiatives and sharing research and learning from Aotearoa with others and learning from relevant efforts overseas
  • support others who are working in this field

Our approach is to explore principles and practices which will enhance inclusive and equitable practices across cultures. Our work is based on the premises that:

  • it is contextualised in Aotearoa/New Zealand, particularly recognition of Te Tiriti o Waitangi as the basis of relationships between tangata whenua and tangata Tiriti
  • we must be accountable in our work to the cultural groups in Aotearoa/New Zealand which are not treated equitably
  • we need to understand our own cultures in order to work appropriately with others
  • In order to promote equity, we always need to address issues of power and to understand which groups are dominant in any given context or situation

This Culture Matters initiative is not about promoting understanding and responsiveness in relation to specific cultures. While this is important work many others have much greater competence than we do; however, we are happy to assist groups to find the expertise they need.