Tackling racism to realise the potential of Māori learners

  • Hon Kelvin Davis

Māori learners will be supported to achieve success in education with new investment that will address racism and bias across the system and support whānau to better engage in learning, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today.

The Wellbeing Budget has invested $42 million over three years in Te Hurihanganui – a new initiative that builds on the previously successful Te Kotahitanga programme.

“The education system has underserved Māori learners. Te Hurihanganui will boost the capability of the education workforce to better support Māori achievement, and transform the learning experiences of Māori students,” Kelvin Davis said.

“The Wellbeing Budget is about taking on long-term challenges, and we are committed to improving the outcomes and experience for Māori kids and their whānau.

“We receive consistent feedback that Māori students and their whānau experience racism and bias in schools, impacting on their achievement. Feedback supported by evidence.”

In 2018 the Ministry of Education worked with a team of experts, chaired by Professor Mere Berryman, to develop Te Hurihanganui.

“Through this work, we decided to not simply restart Te Kotahitanga as it was, but to develop an evidence-based approach focused on what works for Māori learners and their whānau.

“There are two critical factors in supporting Māori learners: high quality teaching that reflects culture and identity, and strong engagement from whānau and the wider community.

“This initiative addresses both of these factors. We will work with schools, whānau and communities at the same time - supporting communities to build strong relationships with schools, and supporting schools to strengthen their daily practice to ensure our system supports Māori success,” Kelvin Davis said.

Te Hurihanganui is set to be tested across six communities over three years. Detailed implementation planning will start later this year in partnership with the participating communities.