Te Arawhiti & Māori Development

We’re committed to improving the intergenerational wellbeing of whānau by working in closer collaboration with Māori. There’s plenty more to do, but we’re making good on the promise of partnership, enshrined in te Tiriti, and working to end disparities between Māori and non-Māori.

Here are a few ways Labour is supporting Māori aspirations:

Prioritising housing

We’re dedicated to improving access to healthy, affordable homes. We’ve invested in papakāinga and housing repair programmes. We’re partnering with iwi to build houses and get whānau into homes, and we’ve introduced Healthy Homes Standards to make rental properties warmer and drier. Our Progressive Home Ownership scheme is helping families buy their first home, with a dedicated Māori pathway to help more whānau into homes.

Boosting education

To reach our goal of a million Kiwis speaking te reo Māori by 2040, we’ve boosted funding for te reo Māori initiatives in schools while growing the number of te reo Māori teachers. Our Te Ahu o te Reo Māori initiative is empowering our education workforce so that all ākonga in Aotearoa can have te reo included in their learning, and we’ve increased funding for Kōhanga Reo. We’ve also made sure New Zealand history will be taught in all schools and kura by 2022.

Upgrading marae

We’re upgrading marae across the country, recognising the role they play in our communities. We’ve committed $96.5 million for repairs at more than 350 marae, making them safer for both haukāinga and manuhiri. With this investment, marae committees are better able to hire their own to do this mahi, grow skills among their iwi, and protect the legacy left by their tūpuna.

Freeing whenua Māori

We’ve removed barriers Māori landowners have faced for decades. From simplifying laws around succession, to making it easier, quicker, and more affordable to connect with and use their whenua. Landowners can also now choose to settle disputes using a free tīkanga-based mediation service, rather than through court.

Honouring mātauranga Māori

We’ve announced the first ever public holiday that recognises te ao Māori, with the inaugural Matariki public holiday to be held in June next year. The Matariki Advisory Group, members of which are experts in Te Ao Māori, will ensure that mātauranga Māori is at the forefront of decision-making about the public holiday.

Investing in people

We’re increasing support for our lowest-income whānau, to help them break the cycle of poverty. We’re making significant increases to weekly benefit rates – of between $32 and $55 per adult – which will lift the incomes of thousands of whānau. We’ve also indexed main benefits to average wage growth, reversing a decades-long policy, to make sure those most in need don’t fall further behind.

Opening employment pathways

We’re investing in the future. He Poutama Rangatahi connects at-risk rangatahi with job opportunities and their culture. So far projects have supported more than 2,000 young people into employment, education or training. We’ve also rolled out Mana in Mahi, which is helping people get relevant trades qualifications while working, and introduced rules to make sure businesses run by tāngata whenua get a fairer share of government contracts – increasing employment opportunities.

Uplifting hauora Māori

We’re working to tackle longstanding inequities. We’ve provided the Winter Energy Payment for kaumātua and people on benefits, and we’ve made visiting the doctor cheaper for many. We’re creating the Māori Health Authority to drive hauora Māori and lead our health system to make real change, with the ability to commission services directly. We’ve also committed $39 million to support the roll-out of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines free to Māori communities.

View more key achievements

Read our full Māori Manifesto for the 2020 election.

  • We're backing calls from New Zealanders to make Matariki a public holiday. Read more here.

Labour’s plan

Labour is already rolling out our plan to improve the intergenerational wellbeing of Māori. That’s why we are:

  • Growing Māori job opportunities through the Māori Employment Package to work in partnership with iwi and Māori to help grow opportunities in the regions
  • Boosting Whānau Ora to continue to deliver the support whānau need on the ground and in the communities who need it most
  • Support Kōhanga Reo, to ensure kaiako are paid fairly and facilities are in good condition, as part of our ongoing commitment to Māori education