Workforce Development Councils (WDCs) are committed to reimagining vocational education through leading and building a system that honours Te Tiriti o Waitangi to meet the needs of Māori, iwi and hapū industry, businesses, learners and their whānau to fill present and future talent needs that will underpin their sustainability, viability and relevance to the future of both the Māori and wider Aotearoa economies.
We are committed to supporting Māori learners, wherever they are employed, to learn in mediums that enable them to learn and perform as Māori and contribute to the talent base available to businesses and all workplaces, including Māori, iwi and hapū industry.
The purpose of the Education and Training Act 2020 (the Act) section 4(d) highlights honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi and supporting the Māori Crown relationship. Te Tiriti o Waitangi provides the framework that guides how these aspirations will be enabled:
By embedding ‘honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi’ and ‘supporting the Māori Crown relationship’, the Orders in Council echo section 4(d). This legislation portends a new era and approach to vocational education and how that will be achieved in te ao Māori.
The aspirations of this legislation are echoed in the following government strategies:
We acknowledge that Māori make up a growing share of our Aotearoa New Zealand workforce and that the iwi and hapū economy will continue to increase its contribution to Aotearoa. These two facts provide the impetus to act now, to inform ourselves about what that looks like for Māori, iwi, hapū, learners and their whānau and to work with them to design the future of vocational education in Aotearoa.
We look forward to working with our partners to ensure we get the very best from the opportunities Te Tiriti o Waitangi, the Act and its associated Orders in Council and strategies present to us.