Supporting a thriving wānanga sector to benefit Māori learners

  • Hon Kelvin Davis

As part of the Government’s focus on building closer partnerships with Māori and enhancing the quality of, and access to, Māori medium education, a payment of $8 million will be made to Te Wānanga o Raukawa in partial recognition of its Waitangi Tribunal claim (WAI 2698), Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today.

Kelvin Davis said the Crown would provide the funding over the next three years as additional support for Te Wānanga o Raukawa to deliver educational outcomes for Māori while work continued to develop a more sustainable funding solution for the wānanga.

“The education system has not always served Māori well, but this Government is determined to deliver an environment that treasures and champions Māori culture, values and voices. Working with Te Wānanga o Raukawa to tackle its concerns, as detailed in the WAI 2698 claim, will help deliver a better system for the benefit of Māori learners,” Kelvin Davis said.

“The Government is taking a collaborative and future-focused approach to resolving contemporary Tribunal claims. We have committed to working with Raukawa on a new funding solution that better recognises the unique role it plays in the revitalisation and growth of mātauranga Māori and te reo Māori within New Zealand’s education system. 

“This is a new approach that has wider implications for the broader wānanga sector, and as such it is going to take time to get right.

“The $8 million in new funding announced today reflects the importance this Government places on the wānanga sector in general and the ability of Te Wānanga o Raukawa to continue delivering on its mission for Māori learners, while also meeting its commitment to work with the Crown on a long-term solution,” Kelvin Davis said.

The Crown has agreed that a further one-off contribution of $300,000 will be made toward costs Te Wānanga o Raukawa has incurred in working with the Crown to resolve its claim.

Prompted by the issues raised in WAI 2698, the Crown has also begun a strategic dialogue with all three wānanga to discuss reforming the Crown’s relationship with the sector and the role of wānanga within the wider tertiary system.

Notes to editors:

  • The WAI 2698 Tribunal claim was lodged in 2017 and argues that Crown policies have hindered the efforts of Te Wananga o Raukawa to contribute to the survival of Māori by reclaiming, nurturing and expanding the mātauranga continuum.
  • Discussions to address the claim have focused on acknowledgment 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.
  • In November 2019 the Crown and Te Wānanga o Raukawa signed a relationship agreement that provides a framework for working together on the issues raised in WAI 2698.