Te Pa Harakeke

Te Pa Harakeke - Growth for Goodness Toolkit

The 2018 World Indigenous Tourism Summit workshops encouraged participants to share the ways indigenous tourism businesses can help protect and enhance indigenous cultures while pursuing opportunities. It was agreed that balance was not enough and that communities should be seeking situations where they can improve their commerce and enhance their culture simultaneously.


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This can be achieved by ensuring the business of indigenous tourism fuels culture.
It was identified that a high-performing indigenous tourism operation, with culture at its core, exhibits a number of key traits. Eight traits, with culture as the anchor. These traits are critical to their success, and the value they provide to their people and their customers.

  1. Culture as the anchor
  2. Lead as servants
  3. Invest in people
  4. Business discipline
  5. Mind-set matter
  6. In the customers shoes
  7. Connect to collaborate
  8. Continuous improvement and collaboration

An indigenous tourism operator may use this “growth for goodness” tool, to examine and challenge their own traits. Leveraging these insights is a key opportunity for indigenous tourism operators around the world, to share and look to examples of excellence, to improve their current business models and processes in a collaborative and meaningful way.

Whakatauākī

Te Pa Harakeke o nga Iwi Taketake

Hutia te rito o te harakeke, kei hea te komako e ko?
If you pull out the centre shoot of the flax plant, where will the bellbird sing?

Ki te uia mai koe, he aha te mea nui o te ao?
If you ask me, what is the most important thing in the world?

Maku e kii atu, he tangata, he tangata, he tangata.
I will tell you, it is people.



What is Te Pa Harakeke?

Te Pa Harakeke - Toolkit

Click on the Harakeke plant to read more

Culture as the anchor

At the core of what we do is a clear and meaningful purpose, which is never compromised. Understanding what we stand for and what we are seeking to achieve.

A high-performing orgnisation with a strong anchor will be able to:

  • Articulate their reason for being and have integrity around this purpose.
  • Take the lead in telling a collective story, that is authentic and emotional, to build depth in understanding and respect.
  • Have reverance for the natural and spritiual world in their day to day operations.
  • Understand what should be shared and what should be kept sacred.

Invest in people

Leading organisations in cultural tourism take great care to select the right people to fit into the company culture. Tthen they commit to investing in their people, continuously developing their core capability through coaching and mentoring.

Investing in capable people means:

  • Development and recruitment of people is aligned to the vision and purpose of the group.
  • Engaging local and young people in planning and execution, allowing projects to be community led.
  • Making sure the team understands the “why”, with high expectations of staff to perform and buy into the vision.
  • Continuous development of core staff and specific capability and skills, so that they may drive continuous improvement and learning within the organisation.

Lead as servants

Servant leadership is a timeless concept in leadership philosophy. The servant-leader shares power, puts the needs of others first and helps those around them develop and perform as highly as possible.

Pivotal leaders as such bring a rhythm to the enterprise, a constant intensity and a relentless focus on culture and performance.

A servant leader will:

  • Bring a simple idea which is communicated clearly and consistently, and listen to all ideas and feedback.
  • Build strong connections, networks and relationships both nationally and globally, to learn from the experiences of others and share knowledge.
  • Ensure the organisations alignment to vision and purpose, carrying out actions with passion and respect.
  • Not be afraid to take risks, nurture and drive the team to deliver new solutions, instil confidence but remain humble.

Business discipline

The strongest organisations have discipline and processes to make things happen. Capability to deliver on the organisation’s strategic anchor or purpose, includes building rigorous plans to execute.

A disciplined business will:

  • Have conviction, have a clear plan and stick to it.
  • Leverage existing resources and create incentives for others to join you on your journey.
  • Understand the landscape, including competitors, existing product and experiences. Undergoing rigorous analysis, planning, execution and adjusting as required.
  • Set measurable outcomes that are used to benchmark, and recognise the importance of reporting and measuring success against key targets and the strategic anchor.

Mind-set matter

The single most important factor influencing success, is mind-set. Having a growth mind-set that you are in control of your own ability, has a direct impact on behaviour.

An organisation with a strong mind-set will:

  • Develop a healthy self-esteem, with confidence and pride in people and purpose.
  • Undergo a shared journey committed to engaging communities and establishing common goals.
  • Harness drive, be brave, have passion, show confidence, trust in oneself.
  • Have a strong desire to be rated alongside the great, and drive to be relevant on the world stage.

In the customers shoes

Building an intimate relationship with customers is a significant focus for high-performing organisations. Gaining deeper understanding of emotional drivers, alongside an ability to engage with customers throughout the product life-cycle is key to building the customer relationship.

A customer focussed organisation will:

  • Have a deep understanding of the customer, brand awareness and experience with an ability to engage throughout all stages of the relationship.
  • Show commitment to creating channels to connect to the end consumer.
  • Acknowledge that customer tastes are constantly changing and with higher expectations.
  • Create customer intimacy, developing trust, overcoming complexity, cynicism and disruption.

Connect to collaborate

Collaborative organisations are proactive in developing and maintaining connections. They work with partners and organisations across the value chain and within industries to increase the pace and effectiveness of creating value.

A collaborative organisation will:

  • Proactively invest in developing and maintaining connections, looking to work with local organisations to build local capability and establish strong networks in regions.
  • Appreciate that there is enough meaningful work and credit to go around for everyone, sharing rather than competing may be advantageous.
  • Acknowledge that a stronger, united group may warrant greater power, to influence and effect positive change for the industry.
  • Communicate with and involve important stakeholder groups such as education, social services, health and business sectors.

Continuous improvement and collaboration

Competitive organisations understand the importance of investing to support their own growth, while at the same time continuously improving products, services and processes. Applying innnovation to find better solutions, meet new requirements, and disrupt markets.

An organisation dedicated to continuous improvement and innovation will:

  • Invest in innovation, and research and development capacity at early stages as it takes a long term view.
  • “Be builders, not wreckers”. Focus on positive and meaningful contributions to communities and industry.
  • Find enjoyment in pursuing improvement, having some fun along the way.
  • Focus innovation and research and development towards the strategic needs of the organisation.

© 2019 NZ Maori Tourism Society