Haar, J., & Martin, W. J. (2021). He aronga takirua: Cultural double-shift of Māori scientists. Human Relations.

Can cultural identity be a disadvantage for indigenous employees? Can it lead to critical issues around workload and pressures? This article explores the role of cultural identity for Māori, the indigenous people of Aotearoa/New Zealand, and the findings are telling. We target Māori scientists, given their limited number but growing legislated sector demands around cultural engagement. We conducted several studies. Study one (12 interviews) identified cultural themes of whakawhanaungatanga (relationship management), kawenga (responsibilities) and taumaha (workload). Study two (wave one and wave two) focused on a large cohort of Māori scientists (between 41 and 60), and themes showed commonality with study one. Also, other themes emerged specifically āheinga tangata (human capacity), tikanga (correct practice), hauora (well-being), and umanga takaware (career disruption). Ultimately, we classify these pressures as aronga takirua (cultural double-shift) and present a theoretical model for understanding the drivers and consequences of this cultural double-shift for Māori scientists. Finally, study two (wave three) and study three were conducted to examine job descriptions/contracts and, overall, we find limited employer support for adequate engagement in cultural roles. These findings reinforced the themes from the previous studies. We discuss implications for employers and the sector.