Vodafone launches five-year Māori development plan

By D'Angelo Martin

Vodafone New Zealand is breaking the corporate mould today with its new company-wide policy to honour the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi.

The policy will be implemented next month and will be the first step into a five-year strategy that will look to working more closely with Māori and Māori culture, language and philosophies across the business.

Vodafone’s head of Māori development, Kirstin Te Wao says this strategy is a sign of its long-term commitment to partner with Māori.

“Our new ‘Honouring the principles of Te Tīriti o Waitangi’ policy is an active demonstration of our long-term commitment to Aotearoa,” Te Wao says.

Vodafone entered the New Zealand market in 1998, bringing pre-pay calling and text messaging to the masses.

Text messaging became popular among Kiwi teens, as a result. Putting cellphones is teenage hands, and sponsoring the then ‘Auckland Warriors’ made the British telco, a household name.

Vodafone NZ CEO Jason Paris says the change of ownership in 2019 strengthened Vodafone’s connection to New Zealand.

“Our new policy is building on this,” Paris says.

The plan will see Vodafone apply the treaty in its business activities. Examples include effective representation, seeking advice when working on kaupapa Māori and working with Māori contractors when possible.