A formal welcome - known as a Powhiri - for new team member in our New Zealand business, Joe Tahana.

A formal welcome - known as a Powhiri - was held to welcome a new team member in our New Zealand business, Joe Tahana. 

General Manager Transport NZ Vic Hensley brought together a group of Maori leaders from across our New Zealand business, along with guests, to welcome Joe into the Ventia 'Whanau' (family).

Vic, himself a Ngati Kahu man, says that Powhiri was attended by around 50 Ventia employees from the Auckland area, and was followed by a morning tea.

"Today was an important day for Ventia in Aotearoa," Vic says. "Joe joining the business as our Kaitohutohu Maori - Strategic Relationship Advisor is a key step forward in the relationship between Ventia and Maori."

"We had a korero (discussion) with Joe and the Maori leaders who spoke passionately about the alignment between Ventia's values and those of Maori communities. We also talked about Ventia's focus on keeping everyone safe, and actively engaging in looking after our environment."

Top image above: (L-R) Michael Cooper, Transport NZ & Joe Tahana (Te Arawa)


Pictured: (L-R) Nick Jones, Operations Manager, Transport NZ & Vic Hensley, General Manager Transport NZ, Ventia.

Vic says it was great to hear people talking about the way Maoris believe in leaving the world in a better place for their Tamariki (children) and Mokopuna (grandchildren) and how the work Ventia does in improving sustainable operations in our business are aligned. 

'Our kids are our future', Vic says.

Companies like Ventia have to take an active role in environmental initiatives, and part of that will involve building strong relationships with the communities in which we operate so we understand what they need. It's going to take a lot of passion and hard work!

Joe's advice to attendees was that it's important to be patient and make sure every employee, not just Maori, has the opportunity to embrace the journey Ventia is embarking on.

I'm really looking forward to working on the plans that will get teams across Ventia to partner effectively with iwi and hapu while also enhancing Maori and Pasifika employment and procurement opportunities across our New Zealand business.

Joe is of Te Arawa descent, married with three adult children and joins Ventia from the Department of Conservation where he was responsible for implementing the Crown's post treaty settlements commitments to iwi.

Joe Tahana, Kaitohutohu Maori - Strategic Relationship Advisor
Pictured: Joe Tahana, Kaitohutohu Maori - Strategic Relationship Advisor