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Māori Development

Unlocking Whānau Ora's Potential

Labour’s vision for whānau and families is to ensure Whānau Ora provides a strengthened service providing better outcomes in the community to respond to diverse needs. 

Labour will establish a new and independent position of Whānau Ora Reviewer to ensure success, and increase funding to ensure Whānau Ora delivers for all whānau and families that need assistance.

The current Whānau Ora service delivery model has the potential to be better and change the lives of whānau and families. Labour will review the service delivery model and commissioning agency approach to ensure Whānau Ora provides strong measurable outcomes and the best outcomes for as many as possible, and is transparent.

Labour will:

  • Support Whānau Ora to be successful by investing an extra $20 million over four years to achieve Whānau Ora outcomes. This is double the additional funding provided in Budget 2017. Further funding will be considered once a comprehensive review has been undertaken and as resources allow
  • Review the Whānau Ora service delivery model and Commissioning Agency approach to assess the social return on investment, ensure transparency, measurable outcomes, and best practice monitoring and evaluation
  • Support Whānau Ora and community NGOs to work together to uplift the wellbeing of their communities without competing against each other
  • Appoint an Independent Whānau Ora Reviewer responsible to Parliament tasked with monitoring the performance of, and expenditure on, commissioning agencies and Whānau Ora as well as to highlight excellent Whānau Ora practice. The position would have a wide scope monitoring the Whānau Ora Māori spend of not just the Māori commissioning agencies but also mainstream agencies who have been tasked with distributing targeted Whānau Ora and Māori funding.

These policies will support an additional 5,000 whānau and families over four years to have better access to services to improve their lives. Labour recognises Whānau Ora strengthens whānau and families and will ensure that its approach is best structured to deliver better outcomes.


Better homes for Māori

Labour’s vision is that all New Zealanders have a fair shot at owning a place of their own, and all of our families have a warm, dry, safe home to live in. Working with iwi and other Māori organisations will be crucial to making that vision a reality.

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Supporting Māori educational achievement

Our education system must recognise the place of Maori as Tangata Whenua and provide opportunities for Māori to succeed and thrive. Throughout the system, Māori culture and identity should be respected and celebrated.

  • Labour will fund dedicated professional development programmes that have proven success in raising educational achievement for Māori students such as Te Kotahitanga
  • Labour will ensure that all early childhood and primary school teachers are provided with an opportunity to undertake lessons in Te Reo Māori
  • Labour will provide dedicated scholarships to increase the number of Te Reo Māori teachers and ensure that Te Reo Māori is available as an option in all secondary schools
  • Labour will relaunch Ka Hikitia – Accelerating Success with professional development to support its implementation
  • Labour will pilot the establishment of traditional Wānanga Māori to provide an opportunity for Māori to succeed as Maori through traditional learning that is steeped in karakia, whakapapa, whaikōrero, history and esoteric knowledge that was once usual practice
  • Labour will investigate the establishment of a unique Wananga Tohu Matauranga qualification at secondary school level to better reflect increasing opportunities for Māori to succeed as Māori.

Supporting Te Reo Māori in schools

The survival and future of Te Reo Māori as a thriving language is a core value for Labour because we believe it is a unique taonga for New Zealanders. It is also fundamental to our national identity, and it provides an important gateway to better understanding the rich history and culture of Aotearoa.  

The Māori language forms part of the broader cultural identity and heritage of New Zealand. Since 1987 the Māori language has enjoyed a national resurgence after Te Reo Māori was given status as an official language of Aotearoa by Labour. Te Reo Māori can today be heard in everyday conversation.

But we can do better. The Government has an important role in protecting and promoting Te Reo Māori. Labour will create more opportunities for the learning of Te Reo Māori for everyone and will be the first major party to make Te Reo an integral part of all students’ education. This will mean the fundamentals of the language are integrated throughout learning, so that children have the foundation to confidently learn Te Reo to a fluent level, and be supported to do so.

Labour’s policies will support a future where New Zealanders from every background will have the ability to use Te Reo Māori in everyday conversations.

Labour will:

  • Commit to a target that by 2025:
    • Every child during ECE, primary school, and intermediate school has Te Reo Māori integrated into their learning
    • Every student at high school, once at the point they become able to choose their own subjects, has the opportunity to choose Te Reo Māori as a subject 
  • Ensure that all early childhood, primary school, and intermediate school teachers are provided with an opportunity to undertake lessons in Te Reo Māori
  • Provide dedicated scholarships to increase the number of Te Reo Maori teachers and ensure that Te Reo Maori is available as an option in all secondary schools.

These policies will mean that by 2025 every child has Te Reo Māori integrated into their learning and secondary students have the ability to learn Te Reo Māori. 

Labour will start work towards achieving this target by immediately doubling the number of scholarships per year for Te Reo Māori secondary school teachers. 

We will also enable 3,000 ECE, primary, and intermediate teachers a year to undertake Te Reo Māori courses. This will allow them to strengthen their understanding of the language to a position where they can confidently integrate Te Reo into children’s learning. 

This package will be supported by an initial $14 million of funding over four years. Labour will be regularly reviewing these provisions to ensure we meet our 2025 target.

Labour will also continue to invest in wider professional development programmes as part of our $6 billion investment in education.