Ngā tikanga – our culture

At Waka Kotahi our values and behaviours shape our culture and guide the way we work together. They define what is important to us and help us deliver our best work every day.

Our values and behaviours influence how we work within Waka Kotahi and how we engage with iwi, partners, stakeholders and communities across Aotearoa New Zealand.

Our mātāpono (values) are bilingual in te reo Māori and English. They are not direct translations but are closely related concepts so each mātāpono has its own meaning. Māori mātāpono enrich our workplace culture and align with Te Ara Kotahi (our Māori strategy).  

Ngākau aroha | Have heart

 Ngākau aroha – have heart

We have the wellbeing of our people, community and planet at the heart of everything we do

As Waka Kotahi we:

  • contribute to a safe and sustainable environment
  • show respect for all people
  • treat others how they would like to be treated
  • are inclusive and connected
  • look out for each other. 


Kotahitanga | Better together

Kotahitanga  – better together

We achieve great things when we work together to build trusted relationships inside and outside of Waka Kotahi.

As Waka Kotahi we:

  • build better relationships
  • join up our thinking and our doing
  • remove barriers to collaboration
  • seek and listen to the perspectives of others to learn and grow
  • invite conversation and feedback to always improve.   


Kia māia | Be brave Kia māia  – be brave

Our outcomes are better when we bring courage and self-belief to our passion and purpose.

As Waka Kotahi we:

  • speak up when it matters
  • challenge to achieve the right outcome
  • make and own the tough decisions
  • find different perspectives to challenge thinking
  • face up to the difficult issues.  


Mahia | Nail itMahia – nail it

We create an enduring legacy, delivering our best work every day.

As Waka Kotahi we:

  • are clear on what is important
  • deliver the right outcomes
  • hold ourselves to account
  • help others succeed
  • celebrate success.