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:
We’re dedicated to improving access to healthy, affordable homes. We’re partnering with iwi to build houses and get whānau into homes, and our Progressive Home Ownership scheme includes a dedicated Māori pathway. We’re delivering approximately 1,000 new homes, repairs to 700 homes, 2,700 additional infrastructure enabled sites and an additional $30 million investment to support Māori housing sector capability through Whai Kāinga Whai Oranga and the Māori Infrastructure Fund. Together this represents the largest investment ever in Māori housing.
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 from the beginning of next year.
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. We’re also making good progress on improving rural broadband connectivity, with more than 500 marae already connected.
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’re proud to have delivered on our commitment to establish a public holiday to celebrate Matariki – the start of the Māori New Year. Our work to make Matariki a public holiday was built around genuine respect for Matariki matāuranga, te ao Māori, and a strong commitment to the Māori / Crown relationship. To ensure we got this milestone correct, we were guided by our expert Matariki Advisory Group. As New Zealand’s first public holiday to specifically recognise and celebrate mātauranga Māori this is a historic achievement for us all.
Investing in people
We’re increasing support for our lowest-income whānau, to help them break the cycle of poverty. We rolled out the Families Package, then the biggest boost in household income in a decade for thousands of families. We’re helping more than one million New Zealanders stay warm through colder months with the Winter Energy Payment, and we’ve supported tens of thousands of new parents with the costs of a newborn with a recently boosted Best Start payment. We’ve also increased weekly benefit rates three years in a row – in Budget 2021, we lifted rates by between $32 and $55 per adult.
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 3,580 young people into employment, education or training. We’ve also rolled out Mana in Mahi, which has already supported more than 4,700 Kiwis to 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 also delivered a $120 million fund to support Māori communities to fast track vaccinations and prepare for COVID-19 in the community.
- We're backing calls from New Zealanders to make Matariki a public holiday. Read more here.
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