Response to Minister Davis
by Ngā Kura ā Iwi o Aotearoa
February 15, 2022
Ngā Kura ā Iwi o Aotearoa does not support the proposed legislation outlined by Minister Davis last week. The homogenised approach to Māori Medium Education aimed at serving both Te Matakahuki and Mainstream Māori Medium Education under one binding Act of Legislation may have good intentions but it misses the mark. Ngā Kura ā Iwi asserts that Te Matakahuki and Mainstream Māori Medium Education each deserves their own, fit for purpose strategies. A stand-alone Te Matakahuki strategy and legislation enabling authority to enact that strategy is required. A similar approach should be developed for Māori Medium Education in mainstream settings.
Te Matakahuki Education: It is the position of Ngā Kura ā Iwi that Te Matakahuki lead the development of a strategy including support systems that are by Te Matakahuki, for Te Matakahuki. The movements within Te Matakahuki consists of Kohanga Reo, Kura Kaupapa Māori Aho Matua, Ngā Kura ā Iwi and Wānanga Māori all have a history of commitment to Mana Māori Motuhake education. Each organisation exemplifies rangatiratanga (authority), as defined by its community, staff and students. If Te Matakahuki leads the development of its own strategy, then it will require the authority to implement the strategy to be authentically by Māori, for Māori, in Māori contexts.
Māori Medium Education within Mainstream Schools: Ngā Kura ā Iwi acknowledges our Māori relations in the mainstream education system especially those in “Māori Medium Units” within mainstream schools. Ngā Kura ā Iwi believes that our whānau within these contexts need to be supported to lead the development of a strategy that serves their kaupapa and their people, within their context.
Ngā Kura ā Iwi o Aotearoa: Our movement is founded on the values of Mana Motuhake (Self Determination), Kotahitanga (Unity) and Tukuihotanga (Māori Language, Culture and Values) and that our iwi, hapu and communities have the right to determine the educational pathway for their people. We are thankful to the many people within Nga Kura a Iwi and beyond our organisation who have all contributed to the evolution of our movement where our people can develop an educational pathway and environment that is by them, for them, their way.
Ministry of Education: The Ministry of Education together with a number of other government agencies in the history of Māori education have been major barriers to the advancement of our people. However, Ngā Kura ā Iwi acknowledges the current Executive Leadership of the Ministry of Education who are trying to support Ngā Kura ā Iwi while also being constrained by bureaucracy, the ethno-centric education system, and the current political climate.
Te Pae Roa: We call on our Minister of Education to give full authority to Te Pae Roa so that they may act decisively in their support of the aspirations in this statement. Ngā Kura ā Iwi believes that Te Matakahuki and Maori Medium education in mainstream schools each require specific strategies and the necessary “authority” to serve and empower our people, our culture, and our future.
Watson Ohia, Pou Kōkiri (CEO), NGĀ KURA Ā IWI O AOTEAROA