Part 3: Māori Language Strategy planning by the six lead agencies

Implementing the Māori Language Strategy.

In this Part, we:

  • provide a summary of the Strategy requirements for lead agency planning;
  • summarise our findings about the progress of the lead agencies in completing their Strategy planning;
  • describe and comment on the challenges faced by agencies in completing their planning; and
  • make recommendations for improving implementation of the Strategy.

Māori Language Strategy requirements

Cabinet instructed all lead agencies to have completed Strategy implementation plans for their areas of responsibility by 30 June 2004. The published Strategy requires implementation plans to include:1

  • explicit linkages to the Māori Language Strategy goals;
  • environmental scans;
  • systems for developing and managing stakeholder relationships;
  • identification and description of the key sector agencies;
  • agency-level outcomes (with five year targets);
  • outputs that will contribute to the agency-level outcomes (and intervention logics to demonstrate how these outputs have been selected);
  • timetables for roll-outs;
  • inputs to achieve the outputs (including an assessment of current inputs); and
  • monitoring and evaluation systems.

Agencies were to create these plans within the wider context of existing departmental planning processes, and to build on existing planning, programmes, and services. Agencies were to identify any fiscal and other issues through their planning processes, and to manage these issues through standard budget, planning, and departmental processes.

Our findings

No agencies had finalised implementation plans that fully met Cabinet requirements by 30 June 2004. Agencies were continuing to work to fulfil the planning requirements.

Progress by 30 June 2004

TPK and Te Māngai Pāho had implementation plans that clearly addressed their Strategy areas of responsibility and showed their own activities and how they were going to lead their areas of responsibility. However, the plans lacked detail in some areas. In addition:

  • TPK’s plan for Māori language policy, co-ordination, and monitoring remained in draft;
  • TPK prepared a joint plan for public services provided in Māori with Te Taura Whiri, but this was also in draft; and
  • Te Māngai Pāho submitted a draft of its Statement of Intent, rather than a separate Strategy implementation plan.

Te Taura Whiri had a draft implementation plan that outlined the activities it intended to carry out in the areas of Māori language services, community language planning, and public services provided in Māori. The draft plan included environmental scans in these areas and explained how the planned activities linked to the Strategy goals. The draft did not, at this stage, include planning for the information programme or for whānau language development, the two additional areas of responsibility that Cabinet approved in October 2003.

The National Library and the Ministry for Culture and Heritage had Strategy implementation plans that were in draft and did not fulfil all the Strategy requirements. These draft plans did not clearly show what these agencies would do to support Māori language revitalisation or lead their areas of responsibility.

Before the Strategy was published, the Ministry of Education was already working on a bilingual education outcomes framework, for which it had received funding in the 2003 Budget. Cabinet agreed that the Ministry’s implementation plan for the Strategy would be developed in the context of its work on the framework. The Ministry submitted an implementation plan by 30 June 2004. However, this plan outlined how the Ministry intended to complete the Bilingual Education Outcomes Framework, rather than how it would lead the area of Māori language education. We note that, at the time of our audit, the framework had not been completed. In 2006, the Ministry received further funding to complete the framework, which was subsequently refocused and renamed the Māori Language Education Outcomes Framework.

Progress since 30 June 2004

Lead agencies have since made progress towards fulfilling Cabinet’s planning requirements. Most agencies have continued to work towards finalising implementation plans. Agencies have also worked to fulfil the planning requirements of the Strategy through different planning mechanisms, including making links between their activities and the Strategy in their Statements of Intent, or referencing the Strategy in other draft strategies they are working on. For example, the Ministry of Education has a reference to the Strategy in its draft revised Māori Education Strategy, Ka Hikitia: Setting Priorities for Māori Education.2

Agencies have also carried out various projects and initiatives, such as working together to co-ordinate the Māori language-related funds they administer.

Challenges for lead agencies

In this section, we discuss the main challenges lead agencies faced in completing and implementing their Strategy plans or planning.

A compressed initial timeline

The Strategy required lead agencies to have completed Strategy implementation plans by 30 June 2004. Cabinet confirmed this deadline on 23 July 2003, 11 months before the completion date. The OCMLS met for the first time on 3 September 2003.

The six lead agencies for the Strategy differ significantly from each other. For example, the agencies differ markedly in their legislative objectives and powers, their existing roles within the Strategy area they are responsible for, and the extent of their focus on Māori language before the Strategy was introduced.

The period of 11 months for completing the implementation plans was not realistic, in particular for agencies that had not previously seen themselves as leading a Māori language area and that did not necessarily have established relationships with stakeholders in their area of responsibility.

The planning requirements outlined in the published Strategy, and the timeline for the lead agencies to complete planning, confirmed by Cabinet on TPK’s advice, did not sufficiently take into account the differences in agency experiences. Nor did the requirements or timeline allow for how challenging some lead agencies would find the role required of them by the Strategy. In addition, as discussed in Part 2, the support and guidance provided by TPK during the initial planning period was not well tailored to individual agencies. All of these factors contributed to the difficulty experienced by lead agencies in completing Strategy plans and the low overall quality of the planning that was completed by the deadline.

Planning became a compliance exercise, rather than an opportunity to genuinely engage with the Strategy and establish how lead agencies would fulfil their roles.

However, agencies’ approaches to fulfilling the Strategy planning requirements have become more flexible over time. Most agencies have now included, or are working towards including, Strategy planning as part of their Statements of Intent, or other public planning documents such as the Māori Education Strategy. TPK now supports this more flexible approach.

Recommendation 2
We recommend that each lead agency come to an explicit agreement with Te Puni Kōkiri about the best way for each agency to fulfil the Māori Language Strategy’s planning requirements and ensure that the requirements are fulfilled as agreed.

Some agencies had difficulty understanding their role as leaders in their areas

To effectively lead a Māori language area, agencies need to decide outcomes for their area, liaise with stakeholders, and ensure that Māori language activities throughout the sector contribute to the relevant five-year Strategy outcomes.

This leadership role has been easier for some agencies to understand and carry out than for others. Some lead agencies already had clear relationships with stakeholders focused on Māori language, and had various ways in which they could encourage stakeholders in their area to contribute to the Strategy. However, other agencies were still creating new Strategy-centred relationships with stakeholders in their Māori language area.

Te Māngai Pāho is an example of an agency that has found it relatively easy to engage with stakeholders. Te Māngai Pāho funds the key stakeholders in the broadcasting area (Māori Television Service, iwi radio, and producers of Māori language television shows). Regardless of the Strategy, it has a leading role in Māori language broadcasting. It is also in a position to influence its stakeholders by, for example, including links to the Strategy in its funding contracts.

By contrast, the National Library is the designated lead agency for Māori language archives, but is one of many organisations involved in that broad area. The sector is diverse, including museums and galleries, libraries, archives, historical societies, and marae. The National Library does not have a mandate to direct or monitor any of those other organisations. Rather, its relationship with agencies such as Te Papa or other libraries is of a collegial or professional nature. Therefore, as its draft implementation plan notes, the National Library needs to work cooperatively with its stakeholders, and to carry out activities with shared resources where possible. The National Library was considering working with Archives New Zealand and Te Papa to include a shared Strategy outcome in their respective Statements of Intent, as one way of encouraging co-ordination and co-operation across the sector.

TPK and the other lead agencies are now making progress in creating a shared understanding of what “leading the sector” means for each lead agency. TPK has offered to support lead agencies’ interaction with stakeholders in each area where lead agencies would find this useful.

The Ministry for Culture and Heritage has had particular difficulty with its sector leadership role. The Ministry’s draft plan states that it will promote the adoption of the Strategy through Creative New Zealand (an autonomous Crown entity for which the Ministry is the administering department) and Te Matatini (a small non-governmental organisation formerly known as the Aotearoa Traditional Māori Performing Arts Society). Creative New Zealand and Te Matatini operate independently of the Ministry, and are responsible for their own management and programme delivery. Under the Crown Entities Act 2004, the Ministry can direct Creative New Zealand to have regard to government policy. However, the legislation establishing Creative New Zealand provides that “[t]he Minister may not give a direction to the Council in relation to cultural matters”.3 During our audit, the Ministry noted that revitalising the Māori language was not the primary purpose of either Creative New Zealand or Te Matatini and that no additional funding had been provided for the agencies to implement any additional Māori language-related activities.

Within this context, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage’s draft plan stated that it would ensure that the Strategy was considered as part of Creative New Zealand and Te Matatini’s annual planning discussions. The draft plan also stated that the Ministry would provide feedback to these agencies and monitor progress over time. These actions would have been appropriate within the statutory context. However, the Ministry advised us that, while it had initially liaised with Creative New Zealand and Te Matatini about the Strategy, there had been little discussion of the Strategy for some time. The Ministry considered that a confirmed plan would have made the basis for engagement with its agencies clearer and assisted it to implement the Strategy more effectively.

In our view, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage should have made a more sustained effort to implement its draft plan. The Ministry agreed that it should have done more to confirm a plan with TPK and could have considered more thoroughly how it might work with Creative New Zealand and Te Matatini to encourage alignment between the Māori language-related activities those agencies carry out or support, and the goals of the Strategy.

Recommendation 3
We recommend that the Ministry for Culture and Heritage engage more actively with key stakeholders in the Māori language arts area to encourage alignment between the stakeholders’ Māori language-related activities and the 25-year goals of the Māori language Strategy.

Lack of compulsion attached to the Strategy

The Strategy directs TPK to monitor lead agencies’ progress in creating and implementing Strategy planning. Te Taura Whiri and Te Māngai Pāho are Crown entities and consult regularly with TPK (which is their administering department) about their general planning and activities. TPK monitors these agencies’ compliance with the Strategy as part of this consultation. TPK has fewer mechanisms to encourage the other lead agencies to complete their Strategy planning.

Some lead agencies do not have funding or other mechanisms to use to ensure that Māori language-related activities of stakeholders in their area contribute to the Strategy goals. As a result, successful implementation of the Strategy relies largely on lead agencies and their stakeholders appreciating how the Strategy’s goals fit in with their own goals, priorities, and activities.

Recommendation 4
We recommend that Te Puni Kōkiri and the other lead agencies work together to identify how each lead agency can influence the stakeholders in its sector to take part in Māori Language Strategy planning and implementation.

Identifying five-year outcomes

The Strategy establishes five 25-year goals for the Māori language (see Appendix 1). The planning framework of the Strategy requires agencies to create five-year outcomes, or interim goals, that will contribute to achieving the 25-year goals. The stand-alone implementation plans or other planning of lead agencies should show, through interventions linked to these five-year outcomes, how the agencies and stakeholders in the agencies’ areas of responsibility will contribute to these high-level goals.

Clear agency-level and sector-level outcomes linked to the Strategy are critical for showing agencies’ commitment to the Strategy, for guiding their work, and for allowing agencies to have focused discussions about working with stakeholders in their sector.

TPK, Te Taura Whiri, and Te Māngai Paho’s Strategy planning included outcomes related to the Strategy goals. However, the other three lead agencies had not identified Strategy outcomes in their planning. Identifying outcomes is one of the priority areas TPK intends to address in the review of the Strategy in 2008/09.

Managing for shared outcomes

The agencies’ role as leaders of their area of responsibility is to identify outcomes and work with their stakeholders towards achieving those outcomes. For most outcomes, this will require contributions from stakeholders in the sector as well as the lead agency. For example, the National Library will require contributions from Te Papa and Archives New Zealand as well as other agencies to make significant progress in the Māori language archives area.

Given the role of stakeholders in achieving the outcomes, TPK considers that agencies should be accountable for providing leadership and co-ordinating activities in the sector, rather than being accountable for achieving the outcomes on their own. We note that this distinction is in line with guidance issued by the State Services Commission in 2003, Managing for Outcomes: Guidance for Departments.

In some areas it might be useful for lead agencies to work together on a shared outcome that involves more than one area of responsibility. For example, the Ministry of Education and the National Library could work together towards a shared outcome for providing Māori language educational resources.

Recommendation 5
We recommend that Te Puni Kōkiri and the other lead agencies work together to create five-year Māori Language Strategy outcomes to provide a focus for lead agency and stakeholder activities throughout each area of responsibility.

Recommendation 6
We recommend that lead agencies identify shared outcomes where appropriate.

Difficulty setting targets

Agencies were weak in setting targets to support their outcomes.

Initially, TPK created a set of draft five-year targets for agencies to use in their planning. Lead agencies had not used these targets in their planning. TPK did not progress its work in creating targets for the initial round of Strategy planning, because there was not enough information about the state of the Māori language, or the likely effects of government activities, to create realistic targets.

As part of its monitoring of the health of the Māori language, TPK intends to complete research that will provide more information on which to base targets for the 2008-13 Strategy planning period.

Clear, measurable targets linked to outcomes will provide a way of measuring the effectiveness of the implementation of the Strategy.

Recommendation 7
We recommend that Te Puni Kōkiri and the other lead agencies work together to create five-year targets to measure progress towards the five-year outcomes, and include these targets in future planning.

Lack of designated resources for Māori Language Strategy planning and implementation, and conflicting priorities

The Strategy requirements imposed a new workload on lead agencies, especially agencies that had not previously considered themselves as leading a Māori language area. The Strategy does not discuss or quantify the potential resource implications for TPK or the other lead agencies of carrying out the planning and activities needed to implement the Strategy. However, Cabinet directed that lead agencies were to identify fiscal and other issues through their planning processes and were to manage these issues through standard budget, planning, and departmental processes.

Not all agencies have linked their Strategy planning to their business planning. Separating Strategy planning from agencies’ business planning may have contributed to slow progress, because agencies might have overlooked Strategy activities or have given them a low priority.

When we discussed with lead agencies why they had not completed their Strategy planning and implementation, several agencies said that this was because of a lack of resources.

One agency said that, while the Strategy had never fallen off the work plan, other more pressing work had always taken priority. Another lead agency told us that Māori language revitalisation was not one of its priorities. The agency felt that its primary job was to fulfil the requirements of its Statement of Intent, and that it was unreasonable to expect it to carry out the additional role of leading a Māori language sector without more resources.

Some agencies experienced loss of institutional knowledge about the Strategy because of staff turnover, which led to a loss of momentum in their activities. This suggests that the agencies concerned had not considered succession planning to ensure continuity of work on the Strategy; nor had they given priority to planning and carrying out their leadership role.

All the lead agencies for the Strategy had their roles assigned to them by Cabinet. Lead agencies therefore have a responsibility to implement the requirements of the Strategy, and to consider the Strategy during their planning and resource allocation processes. Agencies also have a general responsibility to alert Ministers if any resource or other constraints prevent them from carrying out Cabinet directives, and should have done so if this was the case with the work required to implement the Strategy.

In some cases, agencies have chosen to prioritise activity in some of their areas of responsibility above activity in other areas. For example, Te Taura Whiri has done few of the planned activities related to providing public services in te reo Māori. Staff at Te Taura Whiri and TPK (which are jointly responsible for this area) consider this a lower priority than their other responsibilities, because it makes a lesser contribution to language revitalisation than other activities.

TPK is considering explicitly stating the relative priority of the 10 areas of responsibility as part of the planned 2008/09 review of the Strategy. This would provide more transparency about which activities are critical for language revitalisation and must be implemented, and those which are secondary activities that should be implemented only when possible.

Recommendation 8
We recommend that lead agencies, in consultation with Te Puni Kōkiri, assess the work needed by each agency to effectively implement the Māori Language Strategy, and the resources needed to carry out that work.

Recommendation 9
We recommend that lead agencies consider how they will make available the resources needed to implement the Māori Language Strategy, and advise their Minister if current resources are not sufficient.

Recommendation 10
We recommend that, as part of the planned review of the Māori Language Strategy in 2008/09, the 10 areas of government responsibility for language revitalisation outlined by the Māori Language Strategy are prioritised for action.

1: Te Puni Kōkiri and Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori (2003), Te Rautaki Reo Māori - The Māori Language Strategy, the Ministry of Māori Development, Wellington, page 35.

2: Ministry of Education (2006), Ka Hikitia: Setting Priorities for Māori Education, Wellington, page 24.

3: The Arts Council of New Zealand Toi Aotearoa Act 1994, section 7(3).

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