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Continuing our kōrero about the future of Māori education

In 2018, we started a conversation with Māori whānau and communities about what matters most in the education of Māori learners through a series of wānanga. Over 2000 learners, whānau and educators came along and discussed a wide range of issues and opportunities for Māori education.

Thank you for your input. The information we gathered will be used to inform our refresh of Ka Hikitia and Tau Mai Te Reo and the overall Education Work Programme.

Wānanga regional summary reports about the future of Māori education

The feedback from the hui on the future of Māori education is contained in a series of regional summary reports available on the resources page.

There are 12 key themes that have emerged through those reports. Those are:

  1. Māori people want to exercise tino rangatiratanga – agency and authority – over the education of Māori learners. This means there needs to be a genuine partnership approach across the education system, with leaders who believe in Māori and understand te ao Māori. This is vital to Māori education success. This will look different in different settings, but the underlying aim of Māori agency and authority is constant.

  2. Racism and bias continue to impact Māori learner confidence, achievement, and outcomes. Efforts to recognise Māori can feel tokenistic sometimes.

  3. Teaching and learning should be culturally responsive, individualised, localised, relevant, flexible and future-focused. Māori seek to develop skills, knowledge and experience to support their participation in te ao Māori and New Zealand society.

  4. Sense of belonging is crucial for Māori to succeed as Māori. The education system needs to better reflect and foster Māori identity, culture and values in all their diversity.

  5. Places of education need to be welcoming to and supportive of whānau and operate as community hubs. Communities should be empowered to lead local responses and shape local curricula. We need to understand and engage Māori learners in the context of their whānau.

  6. We need to work towards a bilingual New Zealand. This requires the revitalisation and normalisation of te reo Māori. Te reo Māori provision needs to be a priority across the education system. Education on and in local dialects should also be accessible.

  7. Education settings should support the holistic wellbeing of Māori learners and their whānau by providing physically, culturally, emotionally, and spiritually safe learning environments and spaces.

  8. Māori thrive in Māori Medium Education settings. Access to Māori medium pathways across sectors needs to be improved with equitable investment, support and resources.

  9. The education workforce needs to be representative of and responsive to Māori. Māori staff need to be better supported and recognised for their work. More Māori teachers and more quality professionals are also required, particularly in the areas of te reo Māori provision, learning support and social services.

  10. More support, information and choice is needed for pathways and transitions. These need to be seamless between education levels and language settings.

  11. Access to services, opportunities and resources is a big issues in some of New Zealand’s rural and remote communities. This limits the potential of students.

  12. Action is needed now to future proof the education system and ensure that it can adjust to the changing way of the world. Māori whānau and communities have invested a lot in sharing their kōrero and want to see change.

We want to continue this conversation with you to hear your thoughts and ideas about Māori education.

Watch this space for more information on future engagements and hui in your region.