Payment for past prejudice: Te Wānanga o Raukawa to get $8m state boost

By Jessica Tyson

Te Wānanga o Raukawa is to get an $8 million payment from the government as part of its Waitangi Tribunal claim settlement.

Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis says the funding will be distributed over the next three years as extra support for the wānanga.

“Working with Te Wānanga o Raukawa to tackle its concerns, as detailed in the WAI 2698 claim, will help deliver a better system for the benefit of Māori learners,” he says.

The WAI 2698 Tribunal claim was lodged in 2017 and argues  Crown policies have hindered the efforts of Te Wananga o Raukawa to contribute to the survival of Māori by reclaiming, nurturing and expanding the mātauranga continuum.

Discussions to address the claim have focused on an acknowledgment of past and present prejudice, the need for more effective funding models and for the relationship between Te Wānanga o Raukawa and the Crown to reflect the balance between tino rangatiratanga and kāwanatanga.

New funding solution

Davis says the education system has not always served Māori well, but the government is determined to deliver an environment that treasures and champions Māori culture, values and voices.

"We have committed to working with Raukawa on a new funding solution that better recognises the unique role it plays in the revitalisation and growth of mātauranga Māori and te Reo Māori within New Zealand’s education system."

Prompted by the issues raised in WAI 2698, the Crown has also begun a strategic dialogue with all three wānanga to discuss reforming the Crown’s relationship with the sector and the role of wānanga within the wider tertiary system.

“This is a new approach that has wider implications for the broader wānanga sector and, as such, it is going to take time to get right,” Davis says.

A further $300,000 will be made toward costs Te Wānanga o Raukawa has incurred in working with the Crown to resolve its claim.