TEU’s Te Pou Tuarā Lee Cooper and Te Uepū Māori representatives take a look at Budget 2020 from Māori perspective.

Te Uepū Māori represent almost 1000 members of TEU Te Hautū Kahurangi, we acknowledge and welcome the Governments new investmentof approximately $900m specifically for Māori.  

Overall, the 2020 budget is timely and more inclusive than it has previously been (almost double from 2019) with substantive ($100m+) investment going to:

a.     Te Kōhanga Reo $200m

b.     Whānau Ora $136

c.     He Poutama Rangatahi $121m

The $900m spend, however, represents less than 1.5%of the total budget ($50b) when in fact Māori make up 16% of the population.  How does this spend express the Tiriti relationship and achieve equity, consistent with Article 3 of the Tiriti; Education Act 1989 (Section 181 (b) and (c) and Section 220 (2A) (a) to (e)); and Article 14 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples?

The TEU expresses its commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi by working to apply the four whāinga from our Te Koeke Tiriti framework as a means to advance our TEU Tiriti relationship in all our work and decision-making – with members and when engaging on broader issues within the tertiary sector and beyond – such as our response to the 2020 Budget.


Whāinga 3 of Te Koeke Tiriti, “Awhi atu, awhi mai,”underpins the following section. Specifically, the Māori (tauira and kaimahi) and under-represented groups are the “vulnerable” ones, and when the government and TEI employers extend their support – “awhi atu” – it will be well-received and reciprocated – “awhi mai.”

Trades and Apprenticeships Training Package 

We agree with the CTU analysis (of the $1.6 billion package) that hopefully a Māori lens (as well as women, Pasifika, disabilities, etc.) was put on this investment to ensure that Māori and other under-represented groups have the opportunity to benefit.  Of the $1.6 billion, Māori trades and apprenticeships have been allocated $50 million or 3.1%, and the Cadetship Programme ($20 million).

The pātai Māori members ask is, “How will the pūtea be utilised to meaningfully engaged with and support tauira and kaimahi within our respective institutions?  

Priority 3 of the Tertiary Education Strategy is boosting achievement of Māori, in order for this to be achieved and realised the tertiary education sector needs to resource the retention of current, and recruitment of more, kaimahi Māori.  This includes but is not limited to administrators, educators, academic support and pastoral care staff,librarians, and technicians. 

Investment into trades and apprenticeships are commendable, however, Māori members question whether this is a narrowing of educational, career, and earning opportunities for Māori?  We believe that education, in its full offerings across the whole tertiary sector and suite of qualifications, is our right and this is consistent with the Tiriti, Education Act 1989, and UN Declaration.

Whāinga 1, “Tū kotahi, tū kaha,” acknowledges the success of the He Poutama Rangatahi programme which made a stand and took the initiative – with the strength, “tū kaha,” and unity, “tū kotahi,” of iwi and others – and managed to get the programme extended to 5 new regions.

He Poutama Rangatahi

A further $121m into He Poutama Rangatahi, creates further opportunity for collaboration with whānau, hapū, and iwi in terms of supporting relationships with TEI’s to deliver community education.

Tautoko to hapori Māori (whānau, hapū, and iwi) has to take into account both the rural and urban aspects as it’s the overall support to and for our Māori businesses which is needed because they have been amongst the hardest hit. Ensuring that their needs are met in order to continue through this stage of Alert Level 2, and beyond, and that the funding to iwi authorities meets their catchment of businesses.

Whāinga 2, “Ngā piki, ngā heke,” supports the notion that we endure through good times, “ngā piki,” and bad, “ngā heke,” and thus minimise the impact on Māori – tauira, kaimahi, and hapori – because the learning conditions of tauira Māori are the working conditions of kaimahi Māori.


We have all seen the funding that has been and is being allocated and it is the monitoring and delivery, uptake, and overall support that will keep the Māori capacity afloat.  From ECE and Kōhanga Reo to compulsory education and tertiary education sectors, to our trades.

We will need to ensure that our businesses and educational providers are delivering accordingly and that there is a full report back as to how this money is being utilised for the benefit of and for Māori. 

Generally we are currently not advised as to how the money is being utilised, and now with NZIST, from our academic perspective it is the opportunity for them to keep the finger on the pulse in monitoring the growth and support to Māori in all avenues of the budget.

Whāinga 4, “Tātou, tātou e,” recognises that wereach our goal of amending the Bill through collective strength and shared purpose; amendments that will benefit and be for the good of all – “tātou,tātou e.”

Investment in Māori generally

Te Uepū Māori commend investment in other Māori specific areas: Social Service Providers ($76m), Māori tourism ($10m), Māori Arts and Crafts ($7.6m), Te Maihi o Te Whare Māori ($10.5m Māori and Iwi Housing and Innovation Fund); Revitalising Te Reo Māori ($1.4m); community groups to respond directly to COVID-19 and its impacts, with a particular focus on those who are from Māori (Pacific, refugee and migrant communities)($36m).  This is a great start, however, there is more to do.

The final word goes to Tā Hīmi Hēnare, “Kua tawhiti rawa tō tātou haerenga ake kia kore e haere tonu.  He tino nui rawa tōtātou mahi kia kore e mahi nui tonu.  We have come too far not to go further.  We have done too much not to do more. (Hēnare, H. 1988)