Davis launches transformative programme to shake racism (and colonialism) out of our education system

The Maori component of the PM’s ministerial team was busy yesterday, delivering speeches and/or making announcements of concern particularly to around 15% of the country’s population.

  • Rino Tirikatane, Associate Minister of Trade and Export Growth, talked trade to a Wakatū Nelson regional hui. The event was organised by Te Taumata, “the government’s first port of call for trade discussions with Māori”. It boasts a network of more than 700+ whānau followers and works with Māori businesses to deliver better trade outcomes for Māori and a more prosperous future for our whānau and communities.
  • Maori Development Minister named an independent advisory group appointed to strengthen the future of Māori broadcasting.
  • Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis launched the Te Hurihanganui programme in Porirua to address racism in the education system and improve outcomes for Māori learners and their families.   

Maori concerns loomed large in an announcement by Justice Minister Kris Faafoi, too. He has received a Law Commission report which recommends changes to the law governing the way DNA is used in criminal investigations.

The report, called The Use of DNA in Criminal Investigations – Te Whahamahi I te Ira Tangata I ngā Mātai Taihara, recommends new legislation to address how DNA in criminal investigations is collected, used and stored, “while also respecting tikanga Māori and te Tiriti o Waitangi”.

In his speech to launch Te Hurihanganui, Davis said it was another important milestone in the work needed to address racism in the education system and improve outcomes for Māori learners and their whanau.

He mentioned the Budget 2019 provision of $42 million over three years to put Te Hurihanganui into action across six communities.  The Porirua/Tawa community is now ready to begin implementation.

“Te Hurihanganui is a community-wide kaupapa that says tackling racism and inequity is everybody’s responsibility; and that this can only be achieved if ākonga, whānau, hapū, iwi and communities lead this journey alongside educators and policymakers.”

And:

“Through Te Hurihanganui, we will be supporting everybody in the education system to change behaviour and practices to address racism, support whānau to better engage in learning, and most importantly support Māori learners to succeed.” 

Our internet search led us to a document which addresses a key question: what is Te Hurihanganui?

Another document, titled Te Hurihanganui – A Blueprint for Transformative System Shift can be read here. 

The programme is not without its critics, but they are bound to be dismissed as racists. 

They include an outfit called Democracy Action, a not-for-profit incorporated society “established to champion the fundamental importance of democracy and equality of citizenship in New Zealand”.

In a newsletter last month, it warned of the Ministry of Education’s readiness to implement a programme to radically change our education system.

It claimed Te Hurihanganui aimed to ‘decolonise’ the education system – with plans to create a structural and cultural shift across early childhood education, schools and the tertiary sector.

“This change is dominated by the intention to create a system based on a Māori world view, prioritizing the values and philosophy, culture, and interests of Māori society.”

Te Hurihanganui intends to “build critical consciousness to support a structural shift in the education system”.

The initial stage would focus on supporting positional, change and thought leaders.

Leaders will test models of good practice and apply critical consciousness and kaupapa Māori to disrupt the status quo and affect change”.

And:

“Building critical consciousness means reflecting critically on the imbalance of power and resources in society, and taking anti-oppressive action to do something about it for the better. It means recognising white privilege, understanding racism, inequity faced by Māori and disrupting that status quo to strengthen equity”.

Reference is made to an advertisement seeking a Work Team Partner to work with the Ministry of Education in implementing Te Hurihanganui.

“Realising the aspirations of Te Hurihanganui will require transformative changes at both a cultural and structural level. This involves:
• A cultural shift, that is, a kaupapa Māori relational approach that indigenises the education system; and
• A structural shift that is grounded in critical consciousness that decolonises the education system”
.

More can be found here: https://www.gets.govt.nz/MEDU/ExternalTenderDetails.htm?id=22812294

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One thought on “Davis launches transformative programme to shake racism (and colonialism) out of our education system

  1. So then, what exactly are the expected performance outcomes for Te Hurihanganui in education, by when, and how will we know? What happens if the performance outcomes are not achieved?

    A government which can dispense with measured outcomes for DHBs is not going to insist on them in education, and anyone who prefers them to buzzwords will be dismissed as a racist coloniser.

    Like

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