The first of TEU’s four goals within the TEU Workplan 2019-2020 is to advance our knowledge of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and actively work on our Tiriti relationship.

Te Koeke Tiriti is the framework developed and agreed upon by TEU members and staff to advance our TEU Tiriti relationship.

The TEU actively acknowledges Te Tiriti o Waitangi as the foundation for the relationship between Māori and the Crown. We also acknowledge the significance of specific reference to Te Tiriti o Waitangi in the Education Act and the responsibilities and actions that result from our nation’s signing of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Our commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi means our structures foster a sense of tino rangatiratanga – leadership, self-determination and responsible autonomy. This includes creating and adequately resourcing spaces for Māori voices to be heard and decisions made by Māori to be acted upon.

According to Hūhana Wātene, Te Tumu Arataki (Māori Vice-President), maintaining and growing Māori membership within the TEU and across the entire tertiary education sector itself is a crucial component in achieving our goal of advancing our knowledge of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and actively working on our Te Tiriti relationship.

“Māori membership retention and recruitment are pivotal in ensuring the continued success of our union and advancing our knowledge of Te Tiriti and improving our terms and conditions of mahi. Moving forward, we will be working with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sisters and brothers at the NTEU union to learn about how they increased their membership; and toward promoting greater engagement between the TEU and wānanga sector.”

For Wātene, the four goals within the TEU workplan are interwoven, and it is critical that members – Māori and Pākehā alike – continue to work together in advancing our workplan goals and living Te Koeke Tiriti whāinga.

“Our Te Tiriti commitment will focus on our Tiriti relationships, increasing Māori membership, and improving terms and conditions which will have a positive impact on both staff and students. It’s important that we all remember and champion the fact that what is effective for Māori will also have a positive effect for all”.