Reducing a transactional approach between iwi and the Ministry of Education is one of several priorities to drive a collective agreement that Waikato-Tainui, Ngaati Tuuwharetoa and Ngaati Raukawa (Ngaa Iwi) have signed with the Government department.

At a special ceremony hosted at Waihii Marae, the three iwi signed a Kawenata with the Ministry of Education. The Tiriti-based relationship agreement is guided by iwi aspirations for education:

  • Ko te Mana Maatauranga
  • Kia Tuuwharetoa ki te ao
  • Raukawa Kia Mau, Kia Ora

In the first year, the three-iwi received $1.3 million to begin to develop our Puna Maatauranga, our own Marautanga to develop our own rauemi (resources), and to deliver our own waananga in our own spaces. We have also developed an equitable funding framework, to enable the sustainability of resourcing from the Ministry of Education in perpetuity.

The Associate Minister Kelvin Davis said, “currently educational priorities are Ministry driven and transactional costs are high on both sides. Tuuwharetoa, Raukawa and Waikato-Tainui span four Ministry regions, and their priorities align with multiple Ministry groups. While the Ministry can build capacity to service these contracts, Ngaa Iwi has fewer resources”.

The Kawenata outlines a number of high-level principles and strategic aims that the Ministry and iwi have agreed to work towards including co-designing a framework between parties to shape and deliver initiatives for Maaori learner success and resourcing the growth of our own Puna Maatauranga within our learners and tamariki.

Te Pito Whakatupu

Te Pito Whakatupu focuses on advancing the aspirations of Te Whakakitenga o Waikato marae through rangatahi-led innovation. This project falls under the Te Paa Whakawairua framework which seeks to improve the wellbeing of our 68 marae.

In Phase one of Te Pito Whakatupu, we began by listening to our marae voices. From these combined insights, we drafted five Marae Aspirations which MOST marae said were important. We shared these aspirations with tribal members at the 2021 Hui-aa-tau l Meeting) to collect even more feedback and start prioritisation. This step helped us to identify the following top three aspirations that would be the focus for phase two:

  • Marae need systems which enable them to determine their own aspirations through Mana Motuhake.
  • Marae need succession plans for all generations to thrive.
  • Marae want a safe, uplifting environment to nurture identity and belonging for all ages.

Our main aim was to take the top three marae aspirations into the ideation and prototyping phase.  This was achieved by rangatahi during our 13-week Summer programme (2021/2022).

The next phase of Te Pito Whakatupu focusses on taking the top prototypes to implement and test with several pilot marae. We are highlighting 5 prototypes at this years hui-aa-tau. We will also develop and trial iwi-based tools and pathways to help us navigate complexity and grow our rangatahi to be future-makers.  We want to create an incubator for rangatahi to build a better future for their own whaanau, marae and hapuu.