Spark NZ

Spark NZ is New Zealand’s largest telecommunications and digital services company. Spark has 63 retail locations around New Zealand

It was formerly known as Telecom New Zealand until it was rebranded to Spark in 2014. It has operated as a publicly traded company since 1990. Telecom New Zealand was formed in 1987 from a division of the New Zealand Post Office, and privatised in 1990.

Skinny Mobile, a mobile network aimed at youth, is a division of Spark NZ.

Woke Rating

We rate Spark NZ as extremely woke. Spark is one of New Zealand’s most woke businesses.

Woke Summary

  • Virtue Signalling – plenty of virtue signalling found.
  • Gender Ideology & LGBTQ – Gender Ideology is encouraged by Spark, as well as participation in LGBTQ+ events. Spark is Rainbow Tick Certified, and supports trans activists such as Shaneel Lahl. Spark NZ also makes sizeable monetary investments in PRIDE and LGBTQ+ activities.
  • Diversity Equity Inclusion (DEI) – has DEI & ESG policies and targets. Goals to achieve 40:40:20 (Male, Female, Other Genders) representation.
  • Critical Race Theory – evidence of CRT.
  • Climate Change – Supports the Paris Agreement, and has emissions reduction targets. Has ESG policies.

Woke Policies

Wokeness and virtue signalling distracts a company from its core business, which is to make a profit for shareholders while delivering excellent, affordable products and services to its customers. Businesses should not be distracted from this core purpose, otherwise there will be unnecessary costs which are ultimately passed onto consumers. Woke ideologies are typically unfriendly towards the traditional family unit.

Below are some woke policies and initiatives from Spark…

Virtue Signalling

Lots of virtue signalling throughout Spark’s social media channels and campaigns, including Spark’s Modern Slavery Statement.

Inclusion of Te Ao Māori (Māori worldview and mythology) into all aspects of business and operations…

Toitū Sustainability
“Toitū Sustainability at Spark is integrated into our business strategy through our commitment to the three pillars of Economic Transformation, Digital Equity, and a Sustainable Spark. These commitments sit alongside our Māori Strategy, Te Korowai Tupu, which informs how we develop strong connections with Māori and builds our understanding of Te Ao Māori.”

Te Korowai Tupu
“Te Korowai Tupu o Kora Aotearoa (the cloak of growth of Spark New Zealand) is inspired, driven, and led by kawa (protocol), tikanga (process), and kaupapa Māori. It takes the threads of a tangata whenua world view that can be woven across Kora Aotearoa – into our strategic pillar, business strategies, Spark values and shared Māori values to embrace the physical and spiritual nature of te ao Māori.

Gender Ideology & LGBTQ+

Spark NZ is one of New Zealand’s most woke organisations, with considerable efforts to push Gender Ideology along with LGBTQ+ virtue signalling. Spark NZ also makes sizeable monetary investments in PRIDE and LGBTQ+ activities. 

Spark won’t tolerate TERFs
Spark NZ engaged with controversial far left trans-activist Shaneel Lal in extraordinary engagements to attack women’s rights. The bizarre commentary supported Mr Lal’s call to suppress Kiwis’ voices based on whether they believe a man can be a woman or whether only a woman can be a woman. Mr Lal, well-known for extreme language and considered highly heterophobic by many, posted a comment requesting the suppression of “TERFs”. The term TERF means Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist and has become a derogatory slur towards women who follow the scientific defining of a woman.

Spark NZ (and One NZ/Vodafone) came out in support of Lal’s calls to suppress TERFS, with Spark responding “Yes PLEASE, wholeheartedly co-signed”. Spark then decided to double-down on their position with further tweets and posts. 

Read full story here: Spark NZ wont tolerate TERFS

Rainbow Tick
“In 2017, Spark was the first company in New Zealand’s telecommunications sector to achieve the Rainbow Tick certification, which it has maintained. It also made a commitment to be an active and supportive member, and an ally of the Rainbow Community both internally and externally.

Spark demonstrates its support of the Rainbow Community by endorsing several regional activations and events, including the annual Auckland Pride and Spark Empowerment Initiative – a month long festival celebrating rainbow events.  This initiative helps to resource Auckland’s diverse rainbow communities by supporting those producing events for the festival.”

Spark’s PRIDE funding
“Following the success of the Pride and Spark Empowerment Initiative, which helped 15 rainbow community groups bring their creative events and projects to life for Pride 2020, Spark has increased its investment, making additional funding available for Pride 2021.”

40:40:20 representation
“Our ambition is to achieve 40:40:20 representation Spark-wide, which refers to 40% men, 40% women, and 20% of any gender (as well as gender diverse representatives).”

Spark’s LGBTQ and Transgender campaigns … 

Spark recommends LGBTQ+ organisations and content

Recommending content such as “Intersexion: Boy or Girl?” …

Spark’s woke “Beyond Binary” campaign:

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)

“We aspire for diversity and inclusion to be “how things are done at Spark” – embedded into our day-to-day activities, standards, and business practices.”

“Our ambition is to achieve 40:40:20 representation Spark-wide, which refers to 40% men, 40% women, and 20% of any gender (as well as gender diverse representatives).”

“Our Blue Heart Kaupapa sets the standard of behaviour and the values we stand for, creating a culture of belonging. It is a visible icon of our heart-led approach to diversity and inclusion.”


Critical Race Theory

From Spark website:

“We continue to promote our people’s understanding of te ao Māori by delivering cultural responsiveness modules”

*Note – Being culturally responsive requires having the ability to “understand cultural differences, and recognise potential biases”.

“Through our partnership with Hapai Tūhono we are committed to building our future Māori leadership talent by supporting their development pathways.”

*Note – Hapai Tūhono are “Māori Community Development and Equity Employment Specialists”. They have a worldview with elements of Critical Race Theory.

From Hapai Tūhono website:

“We are unapologetically committed to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and Tino Rangatiratanga, promoting transformational outcomes for Māori to create life and wealth sovereignty.” *Note that Tino Rangatiratanga is self-determination, sovereignty, independence.

“We are committed to rangatahi at the center, using Matauranga Māori and applying a Te Ao Māori worldview in all we do. Acknowledging racism, systemic failure, and inequality, addressing the inequities and intergenerational trauma that has created barriers hindering access and opportunities for Māori to actively participate in everyday life in Aotearoa. Recognise the right of Māori to equity from our Tiriti o Waitangi partner.

Climate Change

Spark NZ supports the Paris Agreement, and has emissions reduction targets. 

“Committed to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions in-line with our SBTI-verified science-based emissions reduction target aligned to a pathway to limit global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees C.” 

Source: Environmental Policy (June 2022)

Positive Policies & Activities

Spark Foundation was established in 2011 and is the charitable organisation for Spark New Zealand. Spark Foundation’s vision is that no New Zealander is left behind in a digital world and its mission is to accelerate towards digital equity. It does this by focussing on three strategic pillars: Digital access, digital skills and pathways and digital wellbeing.

Skinny Jump is a heavily subsidised wireless broadband service for people who find cost a barrier to getting connected.

Note – This page was updated as of 20th May 2024. Please contact us if you’ve discovered other relevant information about Spark NZ or other businesses pushing woke agendas. You should also contact us if you discover some positively woke-free businesses.

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