2 Jul 2015

Waikato-Tainui launches education plan

7:53 pm on 2 July 2015

Waikato-Tainui has launched an education plan for the tribe that spans the next 30 years.

The plan, named Ko te Mana Maatauranga, has been developed after extensive research and consultation with tribal members and the education sector.

The chief executive of the Waikato Raupatu Lands Trust said it was based on the principle that whanau is at the heart of life-long learning.

Parekawhia McLean said it highlights three priority areas: Lifting fluency in Te Reo Maaori Waikato dialect to over 80 percent; increasing the number of tribal members with an educational qualification; and connecting more people to their marae.

She said the plan outlines how the identity, history and continuity of Waikato-Tainui is encapsulated within its reo, tikanga and places of significance.

Ms McLean said the targets are ambitious, but also achievable.

"I make no excuse for doing that because we have to be ambitious for our children and mokopuna to come, so we are excited about putting a stake in the ground."

She said currently 30 percent of people are fluent in Te Reo Waikato dialect.

Priority two covers educational qualifications.

Ms Mclean said that involves tribal members gaining a qualification that is meaningful for them, but reaches at least NCEA level two.

In 2013, 77 percent of members 15 years and older had a qualification and the plan calls for it to reach 100 percent by 2050.

Priority three stresses that marae are the lifeblood of Waikato-Tainui and are at the heart of the tribal community.

The plan calls for increasing connectedness and engagement with a person's marae from 70 percent this year to 100 percent by 2050.

She said when tribal members were consulted on the plan, the message was clear.

"Yes we have those that are connected to our marae and their whakapapa now, but we need to see more of that happening."

She said the education plan was a living document and would be reviewed every 10 years.

"It seeks to uplift our people and empower them to pursue meaningful pathways, be committed to Kiingitanga, grounded in tikanga, fluent in our reo and connected to marae and whakapapa."

Ms McLean said that aspirations tribal members expressed during the crafting of the plan included that people were confident and proud and that learning opportunities were enjoyed by all.

She said it was important that the plan was innovative and led to change.

"Our responsibility is to enable those aspirations to be met so that our people are succeeding in all aspects of educational and maatauranga Maaori learning."