Saturday, May 25, 2024

Bill recognises unique role and contribution of Wānanga

Wānanga will gain increased flexibility and autonomy that recognises the unique role they fill in the tertiary education sector under a proposed Education Bill amendment, Associate Minister of Education, Kelvin Davis said today.

The Education and Training Amendment Bill (No.3), that had its first reading today, proposes a new Wānanga enabling framework for the three current Wānanga: Te Wānanga o Raukawa, Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi and any future Wānanga.

Wānanga are tertiary education providers under the Education and Training Act.

“Wānanga were founded with a ‘for Māori by Māori’ approach to bring real world positive educational outcomes for underserved ākonga, especially Māori. They are integral to the wider work across government to recognise and revitalise tikanga, te reo and mātauranga Māori,” Minister Davis said.  

“The current legislative requirements for Wānanga do not reflect the unique role and contributions that Wānanga play in the education system. The new framework provides Wānanga with choices about how to operate in a way that best fulfils the aspirations of their ākonga, communities, kaimahi and iwi.”

The Bill introduces a set of characteristics for Wānanga that clearly articulates the unique role and contributions of Wānanga in the tertiary education sector. It also brings in a process enabling Wānanga to become a bespoke Crown entity or convert to a non-Crown entity Wānanga. 

“I acknowledge the vital contributions of the Wānanga in developing this enabling framework. It has been a great privilege to co-design this work. Their input gives me confidence that the framework will support them to meet their aspirations,” Minister Davis said.

“This Government has shown its deep commitment to Māori education, not just through the more than $1 billion it has invested but by working in a way that recognises the significant Te Tiriti o Waitangi relationship between the sector and the Crown.”

The Bill also separates the establishment provisions for kura kaupapa Māori from those of designated character schools in the Act.

“This change restores the pre-2017 position of Kura Kaupapa Māori as a distinct type of state school and recognises their mana in education legislation.” Kelvin Davis said.

Additionally, the Regulatory Systems (Education) Amendment Bill, introduced into Parliament at the same time, will help ensure that the Māori Battalion legacy continues.

It proposes significant changes to the Ngarimu VC and 28th (Māori) Battalion Memorial Scholarship Fund Act 1945. The Ngarimu Board will be recognised as the successor to the 28th Māori Battalion (NZ) Association and there will be a new Māori representative position on the Board.

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