Opening remarks: Māori Education Peak Bodies Wānanga

Tēnā koutou, e hoa mā. He tino koanga ngākau kua huihui mai tātau ki tā tātau kaupapa.

Ko koutou ngā kaiwhakahaere me ngā mātanga o ngā mahi nei hei hāpai i ngā iwi o te motu, arā ko ngā ākonga me ō rātau whānau tonu.

Ānō te ataahua o te noho tahi o te tuakana me te teina ki runga i te whakaaro kotahi.

Kei te āta whakahoutia te pūnaha mātauranga, ōna wāhanga katoa, nō reira kia kaha mai koutou, kia kaha mai tātau ki te whakatakoto huarahi mō Ngāi Māori.

Me aro tātau ki ngā kura Māori, me aro hoki tātau ki ā tātau tamariki mokopuna kei ngā kura auraki.

Kotahi tonu tā tātau whāinga, kia ora te iwi, kia tae ki te pae o angitū.

At the start of this year, the Hon Chris Hipkins announced a major overhaul of our education system.

We are in the process of stripping down, examining and rebuilding some of the fundamental building blocks of our system that have been in place for decades.

This is a once-in-30-years exercise and creates opportunities for us to give voice to our hopes and dreams for Māori learners and to shape the future for our tamariki and mokopuna.

As part of this work, we will refresh Ka Hikitia and Tau Mai Te Reo.

We will also ensure that we embed issues and opportunities for Māori learners across all parts of the Education Work Programme.

The Ministry of Education has nearly completed a round of regional hui to seek the views of our whānau around the country.

We have asked them about what is working well, what frustrates them and what they would like to change. Now, I am delighted to ask you for your views about these questions.

I would encourage you to think about te pae tata and te pae tawhiti.

We know there are some topical issues that you will have strong views on. Kei te pai, kia kaha te kōrero mai.

I am also interested in your views about the future of our education system. What do we want it to look like in 2050?

In the kōrero with whānau, there have been some very familiar themes. Our people have spoken about the key role of whānau in the education of Māori learners.

They have spoken about unconscious bias (and conscious bias too) and the impact this has on our kids.

They have spoken about the importance of quality teaching and learning and how we incorporate te reo and tikanga Māori into our daily lives.

Kei te pai, kei te mārama tātau ki ēnei kōrero.

I have challenged the Ministry of Education to think about the “so what”.

What steps can we take to address these issues?

My focus is to develop a seamless education pathway for our tamariki.

The various key stakeholders and representatives of Māori Education from kōhanga reo/ early childhood education through to tertiary have never come together to work out how we create this pathway and how we get the best educational outcomes for our children.

I want to have a discussion about how we collectively get 100 percent of rangatahi staying at kura and school until the end of Year 13 and into higher education, trades and employment.

I am interested in your ideas and I have instructed the Ministry that their role today is to listen and then to think about how we incorporate these issues and opportunities for Māori education across the overall Education Work Programme.

I have recently received a number of briefings about various components of the overall Education Work Programme (for example, the Review of Tomorrow’s Schools, the Education Workforce Strategy and various workstreams within the Tertiary Education Sector).

 My questions are always the same:

  • How are they thinking about the issues and opportunities for Māori?
  • How will they give effect to this?
  • How will Māori get to exercise authority within these workstreams?

I am pleased that there is a strong focus across the board in terms of thinking about where Māori will feature in these workstreams.

There is always more to be done, though. What else should I be asking? How connected are you to these conversations?

I am keen for our conversation today to be organic and free-flowing. Mā koutou e ārahi ngā kōrero.