Dawn of a different Ministry-Iwi partnership

Issue: Volume 100, Number 6

Posted: 20 May 2021
Reference #: 1HAKru

The signing of a Kawenata (partnership agreement) was a momentous occasion for Tūwharetoa, Raukawa and Waikato-Tainui (Ngā Iwi) and the Ministry of Education as they forge a different way of working together.

He Puna-wai-nui, He Ia-rere-roa

Pupū ana te wai i tōna mātāpuna, he manawa ā-whenua e kore e mimiti; koia anō hoki te mātauranga e pupū ake ana i tōna ake puna. He ia roa e rere nei i te awa mai i te maunga, pēnei anō i te ia-rere-roa o te mātauranga me ngā akoranga ki ngā uri whakatupu, haere ake nei, haere ake nei. 

The water bubbles up from its source, from the heart of the land which will never diminish; such too is the knowledge which surges forth from its fount. The long-lasting current flows within the river from the mountain, not unlike the everlasting flow of education and learning that goes on from one generation to the next.  

The next generation: Ākonga from Ngā Taiātea Wharekura and Te Wharekura o Rakaumanga are at the centre of the Kawenata.

The next generation: Ākonga from Ngā Taiātea Wharekura and Te Wharekura o Rakaumanga are at the centre of the Kawenata.

Sunshine and the sounds of waiata added to the vibrant atmosphere at Waihi marae in the centre of the North Island, as representatives from Ngā Iwi, the Crown and the Ministry of Education gathered on 28 April 2021 to sign a Kawenata that breaks new ground in Iwi-Public Service relationships.

It was an early start for many, with members of Ngā Iwi and Ministry of Education staff assembling in Tūrangi at 4am and travelling in convoy to Waikato Iti for karakia and whakatō mauri o te kaupapa. Following whakatau and breakfast in Hinana at Waihi, a pōwhiri welcomed Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis and his official party onto the marae.

After speeches, Minister Davis and representatives from Ngā Iwi and the Ministry all signed the Kawenata. 

Partnership based on equity

Signing the Kawenata, from left: Linda Te Aho (Chair, Waikato-Tainui), Dr Daryn Bean (Deputy Secretary, Māori Education), Tā Tumu Te Heuheu (Te Ariki, Tūwharetoa).

Signing the Kawenata, from left: Linda Te Aho (Chair, Waikato-Tainui), Dr Daryn Bean (Deputy Secretary, Māori Education), Tā Tumu Te Heuheu (Te Ariki, Tūwharetoa).

In his speech, Minister Davis described the Kawenata as a collective agreement to establish a perpetual Tiriti | Treaty partnership based on equity and rangatiratanga. 

“This is actually about the iwi and the Ministry sitting down as partners and working out what’s going to be best for ngā uri o e Ngā Iwi,” said Minister Davis.

“This is about ensuring learners and tamariki can thrive and experience the world knowing and understanding who they are.”

The Kawenata outlines a more effective and streamlined way of the Ministry working with Ngā Iwi. Ngā Iwi will collaborate with hapū and whānau to develop a puna mātauranga – digital repository of mātauranga-ā-iwi (iwi knowledge), a marau-ā-iwi (curriculum framework), a range of rauemi (resources) to support the marau, and wānanga (PLD) at authentic learning spaces.

Having a seat at the table to help shape key policies and programmes that support ākonga Māori and their whānau is also a key priority for Ngā Iwi. 

Ngā Iwi agreed that the Kawenata will establish a framework of Mana Motuhake (self-determination), wellbeing and prosperity and demonstrate an effective partnership between the Crown and Ngā Iwi that is based on Te Tiriti o Waitangi and its principles.

What is means for rangatahi 

Rangatahi from two wharekura were present at the signing of the Kawenata. 

Head student Aorangi (Ngāti Hauā, Ngāti Werewere) shares what this partnership means to him:

A momentous occasion: Rangatahi, Minister Davis, iwi representatives and others gather together following the Kawenata signing.

A momentous occasion: Rangatahi, Minister Davis, iwi representatives and others gather together following the Kawenata signing.

Me kī, ko tēnei o ngā kaupapa kua āta tū i waenga i mātau, kua hou mai nei ki a mātau i tēnei o ngā rangi, ā, me kī, ā, he hua o roto i tēnei o ngā kaupapa nē, mō mātau te tae mai. Me kī, ko mātau ngā kura e rua o roto i ngā kura katoa te tae mai ki tēnei o ngā kaupapa. He kaupapa huhua o mātau te rangatahi, o mātau te āpōpō, o anamata. Nō reira, anei te hua te o tēnei o ngā kaupapa mā mātau.

Ā, me kī, mōku ake, he rongo i ngā tātai whakapapa, kua tau mai nei i waenga i a mātau, ana, ko mātau, ko Raukawa, ko Waikato, ana, ko Ngāti Tūwharetoa, ka rongo mai nei i tā mātau Minita a Kelvin Davis me tōna whakapapa i konei. No reira, koinā tētahi mea mīharo mōku te rongo… nō reira, āe… tēnā mōku.

This event that has been organised for us today, for us to come here certainly has value for us. We here are from the two kura who were invited along with other schools to attend this event. We are today’s youth, and the future. Here we see the fruits of that in today’s event.

Personally, for me, hearing the different whakapapa connections. Here today amongst us, we have people from Ngāti Raukawa, Waikato, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, and hearing also our Minister, Kelvin Davis and his whakapapa links to here. Yes, that was a real highlight for me to hear that.

Head student Māhinarangi (Ngāti Māhanga Hourua) shared what she thought was the highlight of the day: 

Ā, ko tētahi mea kua kitea i waenganui i tēnei rā, ā, ko te whakawhanaungatanga o ngā Iwi katoa. Otirā, me ngā kura e rua kua tae mai nei i tēnei rā. Ā, ko tētahi atu mea kua kitea e au ko te kounga o te reo, ā, ko te reo Māori e rere ana i waenganui i a tātau katoa i te rangi nei.

One thing that we have witnessed today, has been the opportunity for different tribal groups to come together and mixing with each other. And also, the two kura who are here today. One other thing I have witnessed is the quality of the language – that is the Māori language, being spoken and heard everywhere today.

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero, reporter@edgazette.govt.nz

Posted: 8:26 AM, 20 May 2021

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