Reform to support better outcomes for Māori learners and whānau

  • Hon Kelvin Davis

The Government’s reform of the Tomorrow’s Schools system is a watershed moment in education and an opportunity to create meaningful change for ākonga Māori and their whānau, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis said today.

“Last year through Kōrero Mātauranga | Education Conversation, Māori teachers, parents, ākonga, whānau, hapū and iwi told us what they thought was most important in Māori education,” Kelvin Davis said.

“Māori said they want to exercise more agency and authority over the education of Māori learners; they want to see their identity, language and culture in the daily practice of our education system; and they want learning environments that are physically and emotionally safe.

“We have listened, and this year, we have acted to give effect to these things.

“Lifting achievement for Māori students is a priority for our Government and we have already taken practical steps to achieve this, through initiatives like Te Ahu o te Reo Māori and Te Hurihanganui and our funding boost for Kōhanga Reo

With these reforms we are taking further steps to give practical effect to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and we will hold the system to account to deliver more and better for Māori,” Kelvin Davis said.

Key points

Boards of Trustees will:

  • Be asked to take all reasonable steps to eliminate racism, stigma, bullying and discrimination within their schools.

Ākonga Māori and their whānau will:

  • Have access to free local complaints and dispute resolution panels for serious disputes with a school.

Schools will:

  • Be asked to ensure that their plans, policies and local curriculum reflect local tikanga, mātauranga Māori and te ao Māori; and focus on achieving equitable outcomes for Māori students.
  • Be asked to take reasonable steps to provide instruction in tikanga Māori and te reo Māori to all learners.

The Ministry of Education will: 

  • Develop advice about how to strengthen Māori and iwi engagement in school governance, as a priority by June 2020.
  • Develop a Māori Medium Network Plan for the next decade to strengthen the Māori medium pathway and an education workforce strategy to ensure teacher supply for the Māori medium pathway.

The Ministers of Education and Māori-Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti will:

  • Be able to specify what education agencies must do to give effect to Te Tiriti and support outcomes for Māori learners. These requirements will be included in amendments to the Education and Training Bill which will soon be introduced to Parliament.

“These changes represent a major reform of our education system,” Kelvin Davis said.

“They will take time to implement and embed and will need to be well managed over the next 10 years.

“However, we have a plan with an eye on supporting better outcomes for ākonga Māori and their whānau and we must continue work to give life to these reforms,” Kelvin Davis said.