Whether our job is front line service, policy making, operations, legislative drafting or regulatory practice, each of us should be aware that the context in both Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia has changed, is changing and will continue to evolve. The authorising environment is more permissive than it has ever been to embrace Indigenous knowledge, partnerships and shared decision making. You just have to listen to the political discourse in both countries on issues like Treaty, constitutional and legislative recognition and change in public service expectations and to see the way organisations are working on the ground with Indigenous communities in co-governance and active partnership to deliver services as well as better informed policy, legislation and regulation.

So if the environment is right, change action must then start with an individual building their cultural intelligence and understanding their ‘why’. Cultural intelligence is quite simply the ability to recognise and adapt to cultural differences and to build confidence to operate successfully in a cultural context.

This article discusses the evolving context in Australia and New Zealand that is beginning to prioritise culturally responsive learning to inform regulatory decisions and to make better policy.

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