Progress made in Te Wānanga o Raukawa and Crown relationship

Te Wānanga o Raukawa and the Crown have signed a relationship agreement to progress the issues raised by the Wānanga in its Waitangi Tribunal claim, lodged in 2017.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis attended the formal signing ceremony at the Wānanga campus in Otaki this morning.

“The Crown has been working closely with the Wānanga since February 2018 to find a way forward,” Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis said.

The WAI 2698 Tribunal claim argues that Crown policies, including the Performance Based Research Fund have hindered the Wānanga’s efforts to contribute to the survival of Māori.

“A one-off grant of $10 million has been approved to begin to address research issues raised in the claim.

“The grant is a sign of good faith and acknowledges that the Wānanga has not participated in or benefitted from the Performance Based Research Fund since it was established.

“We absolutely value the work of the Wānanga, in particular their work around Māori knowledge. The grant aims to help grow their research capacity and capability.

“The Wānanga have longstanding concerns with the Crown’s tertiary education and science policies – as raised in the claim - and we are committed to addressing those as best we can and to developing our future plans for the education system in partnership with Māori,” Kelvin Davis said.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins said the relationship agreement creates a path to improve Māori outcomes and indigenous research for Aotearoa’s future.

“We recognise the education system has been challenging for Māori. The Government is committed to doing its bit to ensure that Māori can achieve their full potential in education and have their contributions acknowledged,” Chris Hipkins said.

“Research based on Māori concepts and values can play a huge role in improving the wellbeing of New Zealand and finding solutions to some of our country’s long-term challenges like clean rivers for future generations and climate change.

“Today’s signing is part of the Government’s wider work in education to build a system that recognises and represents Māori culture, values and voices,” Chris Hipkins said.

Tumuaki of Te Wānanga o Raukawa, Mereana Selby, said that while there remains a great deal of work to do, the relationship protocol represents a significant first step towards resolution of the claim.

“Importantly, it also creates a foundation upon which to build a new kind of relationship between Te Wānanga o Raukawa and the Crown.

“We look forward to working alongside the Crown to ensure that the relationship produces positive results for the Wānanga and for the communities it serves,”  Mereana Selby said.

Notes to editors

·         Te Wānanga o Raukawa was established in 1981 by Te Āti Awa ki Whakarongotai, Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga and Ngāti Toa Rangatira (the ART Confederation) as part of the iwi development plan Whakatupuranga Rua Mano. The plan, launched in 1975, sought to revitalise and develop the language, the marae, the people and the self-determination of the Confederation.

·         Discussions to address the claim have focused on acknowledgement of past and present prejudice; the need for more effective funding models; and for the relationship between Te Wānanga o Raukawa and the Crown to reflect the balance between tino rangatiratanga and kāwanatanga.

·         This relationship agreement is in response to the Whakatupu Mātauranga Claim (WAI 2698) lodged with the Waitangi Tribunal in 2017. The claim has been adjourned.