Orr’s mis­sion to bring Ma¯ori cul­ture to the cen­tral bank

Wanganui Chronicle - - Front Page -

Re­serve Bank Gover­nor Adrian Orr is plan­ning to shift the mind­set of the in­sti­tu­tion to­wards bet­ter em­brac­ing the cul­tural di­ver­sity of the coun­try.

Orr is part Cook Islander and grew up in a largely Ma¯ori com­mu­nity in the cen­tral North Is­land, and since he took the helm of the Re­serve Bank this year, phrases like tikanga

Ma¯ori and te Reo have be­gun to fea­ture promi­nently.

Orr was the first of New Zealand’s cen­tral bankers to be wel­comed with an of­fi­cial po¯whiri in March fronted by the bank’s re­cently formed wa­iata group, and at his first press con­fer­ence an­nounc­ing the of­fi­cial cash rate in May he greeted jour­nal­ists in English, Ma¯ori and sign lan­guage.

Un­der his watch, the bank’s State­ment of In­tent, where it sets out its strate­gic ob­jec­tives to the Govern­ment for the next four years, high­lights its in­tent to em­bed te Reo and tikanga Ma¯ori into the cul­ture of the bank.

“This is the first time we have got it up in bold lights as part of one of our key pri­or­i­ties,” Orr ex­plained. “The rea­son we are em­brac­ing the wider tikanga Ma¯ori is sim­ply that di­ver­sity and in­clu­sive­ness are a very very key part of a suc­cess­ful or­gan­i­sa­tion and why not start with tan­gata whenua around think­ing of di­ver­sity. At the very most ba­sic level we have a clear obli­ga­tion from the Treaty of Wai­tangi.”

Orr has been mulling over the place of New Zealand’s cen­tral bank in the coun­try’s fi­nan­cial ecosys­tem. He says he would love it to be part of the bank’s brand­ing in the fu­ture.

“It’s early days but it is res­onat­ing very strongly,” Orr says.

“That’s my per­sonal pas­sion. It’s some­thing that I have been push­ing hard.”

The Re­serve Bank al­ready uses Ma¯ori names, fea­tures and icons in its work, and added the words Te Putea Matua, roughly trans­lated as Fa­ther of the Cash, to its lat­est bank notes as well as Aotearoa along­side New Zealand.

The Re­serve Bank has added the words Te Putea Mat­u­ato to bank notes.

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