The first reading of the Education and Training Bill (No.3) in the House of Representatives today signals an historic shift in the relationship between the Crown and the Wānanga sector, namely Te Wānanga o Aotearoa and Te Wānanga o Raukawa, Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi.
The Bill seeks to enhance the relationship between tino rangatiratanga and kāwanatanga as prescribed by Te Tiriti o Waitangi and its principles through the establishment of a Wānanga Enabling Framework within the Education and Training Act 2020. The Wānanga Enabling Framework describes the characteristics of wānanga and enables each wānanga to design its own organisational arrangements by Order in Council.
These provisions recognise the unique role that wānanga play in the tertiary education sector through the provision of teaching and learning that is inextricably linked with te reo Māori and mātauranga Māori. They also represent an important first step in addressing decades of inequity due to Crown policies and actions that have prejudicially affected wānanga and their exercise of rangatiratanga.
The framework, co-designed between the three wānanga and the Crown, is the culmination of many years of work. The wānanga look forward to building on the foundation laid by these provisions and are committed to continue working with the Crown to ensure that wānanga thrive into the future.