Te Tiriti o Waitangi
Gravity Credit Management acknowledges that the Treaty is the foundation document of Aotearoa New Zealand and we understand and adhere to the principles of the Treaty as laid down in the Treaty of Waitangi Act of 1975 and expanded by the 1987 Lands case.
The principle that is relevant to Gravity Credit Management and our industry is the first principle laid down in this case.
That the treaty signified a partnership between Pakeha and Māori, requiring each other to act reasonably and with the utmost good faith
It’s Application to Gravity
This principle extends beyond dealings between Māori and Pakeha and it requires parties to assume a default position that those we engage with are both worthy of being treated reasonably and imposes an obligation to treat all parties with good faith; regardless of that person’s background.
Regardless of who we are dealing with, our staff and management treat all parties with respect and in the expectation of good faith. It is the nature of our industry that this will not always be reciprocated, but even when it is not, we adhere to this principle and we do so not only because it is the right way to act, but because if we wish to be treated reasonably and in good faith, we must continue to treat others in this manner regardless of the circumstances.
Tikanga incorporates practices and values from mātauranga Māori. It represents the original cultural norms and values of Aotearoa and remains relevant today. Tikanga Māori has often been interpreted as a model of interpersonal conduct. It provides a context for individuals who interact, who seek to achieve an understanding, and a cultural reference point for those from different backgrounds and perspectives to achieve a common understanding.
The literal derivation of tikanga comes from tika, meaning right or correct and its application requires adherents to act fairly, and in a correct fashion.
Although deriving from indigenous custom, it is now recognised as a part of New Zealand law and custom. In the recent Peter Ellis case, the Supreme Court acknowledged the place and significance of Tikanga to Aotearoa New Zealand, regardless of the background of the parties involved.
Tikanga’s application to Gravity
Tikanga has a special weight to the business of credit management. Tikanga teaches us that there is a right way to treat others; to do so with morality, with justice, and with fairness.
When dealing with those who have debts to our clients, we act consistently with these principles. No matter of the circumstances that an individual find themselves in, they are entitled to be treated with dignity, humanity, fairness and to be listened to and respected.
To treat others in this way is to act consistently with tikanga. Equally, we expect those we are dealing with to treat us in the same manner, however, we understand that this is not always going to eb the case. Regardless, we do not lose our mana or abandon tikanga because of the way others choose to act.
Doing the right thing, and acting in the right way is something that we do because it is who we are. To change the way you treat others because of the way that they act is inconsistent with tikanga.
te ao Māori and Gravity
Credit Management can place us in difficult, uncomfortable and often confrontational positions. Our clients wish to be paid, and often those we deal with, our customers, are unable or unwilling to engage.
We take a holistic approach, consistent with te ao Māori, in dealing with our customers. We understand that in some cases we will face individuals who will not respect us, will not engage with us, and in some cases become abusive and confrontational.
Te ao Māori traches us that our actions need not be defined by those we are engaging with, but that our behaviour reflects on us, not on how we are treated by others. Mana is driven from the self. Respect is earned but it must come from ourselves.
In all situations, acting consistently with our own integrity is important to us and, if we wish to engage constructively with others, we need to demonstrate both by word and by deed, that we are people who can be trusted and who will treat everyone in a manner consistent with their mana.
These are principles and ideals that transcend the background of the individual. These are ideals that are inherent to Aotearoa New Zealand. And most importantly they are consistent with our over-riding philosophy at Gravity Credit:
We treat your reputation as if it is our own, because ultimately, it is.
This is a way of thinking that draws from the ancient wisdom of these islands and which remain relevant today.