9 Jul 2013

Iwi calls for system change at ministry's Taranaki office

7:00 am on 9 July 2013

A south Taranaki iwi says there needs to be a systemic change at the Ministry of Education's regional office.

Nga Ruahine says it had to battle hard against the local team to get a non-te reo-Maori-speaking commissioner removed from Te Kura o Nga Ruahine Rangi in Mangatoki.

The tribe credits staff at the ministry's headquarters in Wellington for listening but says local leadership needs to work on becoming more culturally competent.

Iwi chair John Hooker says it is not good enough having an office with one or two Maori personnel, and regional ministry management needs to reflect tangata whenua aspirations and desires.

He says some areas of Taranaki have 30% to 40% Maori population - and that needs to be matched by the workforce of the local ministry office.

Mr Hooker says Taranaki needs to catch up and operate in the same way as well-advanced places like Hamilton, Rotorua and Tamaki Makaurau.