Kawenata signed to enable Iwi aspirations for Māori learners

The Crown, through the Ministry of Education, has signed a Kawenata with Tūwharetoa, Raukawa and Waikato-Tainui (Ngā Iwi) that will help realise Iwi aspirations for Māori learners of the Waikato awa and set a new precedent for the way the Ministry works with Māori.

Speaking at the signing ceremony at Waihi Marae today, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis said the Kawenata establishes a framework for how the Ministry will work in partnership with Ngā Iwi to develop initiatives, priorities and solutions.

“The broad aim is to put into action an enduring Treaty-based partnership that will enable active Māori participation in the shaping of education policies and programmes,” Kelvin Davis said.

“The Ministry is currently in the process of improving the way it works. Part of its refocus is how it can give better effect to Te Tiriti.

“The Ministry has been good at asking Māori for feedback on key issues, but often it lacked the ability to change its mindsets, systems, and processes to address those key issues.

“The Kawenata will streamline some of the processes currently in place, and give Ngā Iwi a seat at the table as partners to influence key policies and initiatives that impact ākonga Māori and their whanau.

“If we want a better system to create better outcomes for Māori, then we have to work hard for this in partnership with Iwi, hapū and whānau to determine the best approach, and create the right solutions,” Kelvin Davis said.

The Crown have committed to working with Ngā Iwi based on the new agreement to develop a range of resources including a puna mātauranga - digital repository of mātauranga ā Iwi (Iwi knowledge), a marau-ā-Iwi (curriculum) framework, a range of rauemi (resources) to support the marau, and wānanga (PLD) at authentic learning spaces.

Kelvin Davis said this partnership will also give effect to Ka Hikitia and Tau Mai Te Reo, the recently updated Māori Education Strategies.

“Last year I relaunched Ka Hikitia and Tau Mai te Reo, which outline the actions the Ministry of Education and education agencies will undertake to enable Māori to succeed in education as Māori,” Kelvin Davis said.

“This Kawenata is a great starting point. 

“We look forward to working with Iwi to address the issues together. Iwi will keep us accountable to these outcomes,” Kelvin Davis said.