Supporting Māori and Pasifika aspirations

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Key Budget initiatives:

  • $80 million boost for Whānau Ora
  • More support for te reo Māori and Pacific languages
  • Targeted funding for improved health, housing, education and skills
  • Kaupapa Māori approach to tackling reoffending
  • An additional 2,200 young people supported through the Pacific Employment Support Service
  • Investing $56 million to unlock whenua Māori

The Wellbeing Budget focuses on ways to give Māori and Pacific peoples more scope to lift their own wellbeing.

When Māori and Pacific peoples set their own wellbeing goals and aspirations and when we as a Government use our ability to change the system and help Māori and Pacific peoples achieve those aspirations – equality can start to be a reality.

We can change the status quo, by taking a whānau-centred approach to wellbeing, working collaboratively across government, by harnessing Māori potential, celebrating Māori culture, embracing Pacific values and co-designing initiatives with Māori and Pacific peoples.

A boost for Whānau Ora

Whānau Ora supports tino rangatiratanga and mana of whānau by empowering them to self-determine their needs, aspirations and desired outcomes.

Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare says the independent review of Whānau Ora highlights important opportunities to develop the programme into the future.

The Wellbeing Budget commits $80 million over four years to expand the coverage and impact of Whānau Ora. This provides greater support to whānau, improves localised decision-making and accountability.

This will provide local options that better serve the specific needs and aspirations of whānau, and further develops the skills and capabilities of Whānau Ora navigators.

“My vision for Whānau Ora is that it is adequately resourced to support whānau to achieve their aspirations, that it is appropriately supported across government agencies, and that whānau are able to play a key role in local decision-making regarding Whānau Ora support,” Peeni Henare says.

The revitalisation of te reo Māori

A key part of this year’s Wellbeing Budget is the revitalisation of te reo Māori to promote a stronger sense of national identity.

Minister of Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta says the Crown is committed to ensuring that basic te reo is spoken by a million people in Aotearoa by 2040.

“This investment will underpin the growth of te reo across the Maihi Karauna and Maihi Māori programmes.

“For te reo Māori to thrive by 2040 we all need to do our part to make it a working, living language,” Nanaia Mahuta says.

Nearly $10 million over four years will fund Te Taura Whiri, the Māori Language Commission, and support an increase in certification for te reo translators. Another $4 million dollars has been allocated to support events that build a shared national identity.

“Te reo is a taonga that will strengthen the partnership between Crown and Māori. The language also makes a key contribution to New Zealand tourism and international trade,” Nanaia Mahuta says.

The Maihi Karauna programme provides support for te reo across a range of government and public service agencies.

A further $6 million will be invested in the Kāhui investment model run by Te Mātāwai. This investment will be used to support the Maihi Māori programme in the wider Māori community and also policy and advice for Te Taura Whiri.

The money will be earmarked for eight iwi and Māori language clusters across the country.

The Budget also funds $14 million of additional support for Te Mangai Paho to produce quality Māori programming to support te reo Māori and wider cultural development objectives.

“Undertaking these initiatives shows a clear commitment from the Government to te reo Māori in the UNESCO International Year of Indigenous Languages 2019.

“I welcome these Budget initiatives as the Māori language is one of the best ways to say ‘We are New Zealanders’,” Nanaia Mahuta says.

A boost for Pacific languages

The languages we use say something about not just who we are, but where we are. They speak to our sense of belonging, our identity and our understanding of how we came to be here.

But Pacific languages in New Zealand are struggling.

“Without action we risk losing an incredible repository of wisdom and culture, and a sense of belonging for our Pacific peoples,” Aupito William Sio says. 

The Wellbeing Budget provides $20 million over four years so the Ministry for Pacific Peoples can establish a new Pacific Language Unit, with a set of language support functions to help ensure the survival of Pacific languages.

Lifting education and employment

The Wellbeing Budget will invest $42 million over three years to support Māori students to achieve success in education by addressing inequity across the system and supporting whānau to engage in their children’s learning.

Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis says this initiative will boost the capability of the education workforce to better support Māori achievement, and transform the learning experiences of Māori students.

The Wellbeing Budget provides $27.4 million over four years to ensure Pacific students and their families have the skills, knowledge and equitable opportunities to pursue any education pathway. This will include investing in Pacific PowerUP, an education programme that actively supports Pacific parents, families and communities to chamption their children’s learning.

Associate Education Minister Jenny Salesa says the investment delivers a broad range of initiatives aimed at lifting and sustaining achievement for all Pacific students, their families and communities.

Budget 2019 will also provide $14.5 million to the Ministry for Pacific Peoples to grow opportunities for young people not in employment, education or training.

“This funding will grow learning and earning opportunities by expanding collaboration with Pacific providers in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch to place up to 2,220 Pacific young people into employment, education or training though the Pacific Employment Support Service,” Aupito William Sio says. 

An additional $26.6 million will be allocated through the Provincial Growth Fund to extend He Poutama Rangitahi to assist young people who are not in employment, education or training and who are at risk of long term unemployment.

Minister of Employment Willie Jackson says the investment will continue to grow community-led skills and employment programmes in some of our most remote communities and regions, creating pathways to sustainable meaningful employment. 

Transforming the Pacific Economy

Budget 2019 supports the important contribution Pacific communities make to New Zealand’s economy with $11 million over four years to boost the Pacific Business Trust.

This funding will expand the delivery of business services, and support industry and community economic development activities focused on growing Pacific businesses and job opportunities throughout Aotearoa and beyond.

It will also include research, monitoring and evaluation of Pacific peoples’ contribution to New Zealand’s economy.

The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says the Wellbeing Budget responds directly to the voices of Pacific communities and empowers them to grow and sustain their success.

Improving Māori and Pacific peoples’ health and wellbeing

The Wellbeing Budget provides $12 million in funding for rheumatic fever programmes to reduce the incidence rate among Māori and Pacific peoples and support better management of the illness.

Associate Health Minister Jenny Salesa says this investment will support the development and implementation of innovative, community-led rheumatic fever interventions.

“Targeted and tailored initiatives are shown to be more effective for improving both Māori and Pacific peoples’ health outcomes.”

In addition the Budget invests $1 million to research how a whānau-centred approach to primary healthcare ccould improve outcomes for Māori and Pacific peoples.

“Identifying and developing how a whānau-centred approach to our primary healthcare could improve the wellbeing of Māori and Pacific peoples, and may allow primary healthcare providers to deliver the support required to make positive and enduring changes in the lives of whānau,” Peeni Henare says.

There will also be increased investment of $9.8 million over four years in developing innovative Pacific community initiatives, including initiatives to share evidence-based Pacific models of care.

An important part of delivering improved health outcomes for Pacific peoples will be to increase the Pacific peoples health workforce.

This will be done with funding of $14.3 million over four years for a strengthened Pacific training pathway, from secondary school to tertiary study, work experience and work placements. This includes increasing the number of  Pacific peoples nurses and midwives.

A Kaupapa Māori approach to tackling reoffending

The Wellbeing Budget is investing $98 million into a pathway for people to experience a kaupapa Māori and whānau-centred approach for all of their time with the Department of Corrections (Correction), from pre-sentence to reintegration and transition into their community.

It will initially focus on Māori men under 30 years of age, as this group has the highest reconviction and reimprisonment rates.

Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says the investment is a major first step in changing the way Corrections operates to help break the cycle of Māori reoffending and imprisonment.

“We are acknowledging that our system does not work for the majority of Māori.

“This is a system and culture change for our prisons. It’s a new pathway for people in prison and their whānau to walk together,” Kelvin Davis says.

This initiative includes $35 million over four years to apply a Whānau Ora approach to reduce reoffending and improve whānau outcomes and wellbeing.

“We tend to forget that people in prison have whānau at home. Whānau Ora supports the mana of whānau by assisting them to set goals and navigate them to services and support they need, while maintaining the links between whānau members,” Peeni Henare says.

Unlocking whenua Māori

The Wellbeing Budget invests in unlocking the unused potential of Māori-owned land, with $56.1 million over four years to implement the Whenua Māori Programme.

This investment will set up up an advisory service for Māori landowners to help them develop a plan to utilise their land and resources and support whānau aspirations.

Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta says the Whenua Māori programme will initially focus on three regions: Te Tai Tokerau, Waikato-Waiariki and Tairāwhiti.

“At present the challenge of the complex rules and regulations around the whenua means that there are significant barriers for Māori land owners. These will be tackled by targeted legislative changes.

“Current research shows that 600,000 hectares, nearly 40 per cent of Māori land, is underdeveloped. We simply have to do better for our tamariki,” Nanaia Mahuta says.

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