Reaching for the stars - Matariki

Reaching for the stars - Matariki

Matariki is a star cluster which appears in the night sky during mid-winter.  It signals the Māori New Year, and it is a time of renewal and celebration that begins with the rising of the Matariki star cluster. It also is the time to restart the Maori calendar.

The two meanings of Matariki both refer to stars: mata ariki (eyes of god) and mata riki (little eyes).

At Global Culture we recently started a process to try and become a B Corp certified Company.  It is challenging.

Prior to our first session we had concentrated on reduction of rubbish and the aspects of our business more aligned or impacting the environment.

Our first session highlighted that to become a B Corp Certified business was far more than just sustainability.

We were introduced to the B Corp team through NZTE and in the first session there was talk of discussions with Maori about the principles of being a B Corp business.  What seemed apparent was that Maori businesses are generally built around very similar principles to a B Corp business. 

From my understanding Maori business and a B Corp business is driven by some core principles.  The principles include;

  • Taking care to deal with people who hold similar values and principles as you do.
  • Respecting and caring for your staff and the environment.
  • Taking care of people in your community.
  • It’s all about fair value for all parties and
  • A belief in doing good.

Every March, B Corporations around the world come together in celebration to recognise the achievements of the more than 4,000 certified businesses using business as a force for good. B Corps come in many different shapes and sizes offering all sorts of products and services, yet at the core the prevailing words often found in the mission of B Corps in New Zealand represent the sentiment around Togetherness and Community Spirit.

B Corp owners are trying to reach for the stars, figuratively trying to do something that is very difficult and impressive.

So how does this relate to Matariki you may ask.  Well, Matariki, for Maori, is all about celebration, and spending time with family.   The stars signal an end of a cycle and the beginning of a new one.

For us, our move is the start of a new cycle, and is about commitment.  Not just saying that we want to operate as a good citizen but committing to it in a way that becomes measurable.  At this stage we hope we are reaching for the stars and not star struck with Stars in our eyes.


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