Principal Māori engagement adviser

BA graduate Daniel Haines is weaving mana whenua into the built environment, using his political nous and empathy to drive Māori engagement forward.

Daniel Haines

Key facts

Iwi:  Te Rarawa, Ngāpuhi
: Principal Māori engagement adviser at Panuku Development Auckland
Programme: Bachelor of Arts
Subjects: History, Politics and International Relations

"I'm the Principal Māori Engagement Adviser at Panuku Development Auckland.

"In my mahi, I facilitate a partnership with mana whenua and support the business to respond to Māori aspirations. As an urban development authority, we have an opportunity to weave mana whenua cultural narratives into the built environment to create spaces that reflect Māori culture and identity. Mana whenua have also identified governance, economic, social, cultural and identity priorities within our business.

"Panuku acknowledges 19 iwi and hapū in Tāmaki Makaurau, and these entities have both individual and collective aspirations. To be effective at work, I must be compassionate – our partners sometimes get frustrated with us – as we're on a journey to getting it right.

"I conceive of myself as someone working within the system to support positive outcomes for Māori (and by extension all whānau). To be successful, I rely heavily on my nontechnical skills to help navigate through problems. When the stakes are high, combining political nous with empathy can help paddle the waka forward.

An Arts degree taught me ways of thinking that give me a significant advantage in the workplace.

"The value of the Arts degree is the tools that you learn that allow you to critically engage with ideas. It teaches you how to work under pressure, meet deadlines, research, write, collaborate and undertake your own learning.

"The thing that will distinguish you as a graduate is the portfolio of experiences that you have developed over your time at university. By talking to people, drinking in rich experiences and pushing your own boundaries, you will change your life. Every day you spend at university is another learning and development opportunity and it allows you to grow as a person."