Education for Māori: Using information to improve Māori educational success.

Aotearoa/New Zealand leads the world with its focus and effort to ensure its indigenous people enjoy educational success. Others come to Aotearoa/New Zealand recognising that we are on a progressive pathway. They come to learn from what we are doing. They take back to their countries some of our policies, practices and publications.

We hope some of the publications those visitors return with will be this and the three other reports produced under the Education for Māori audit programme.

The first audit showed that the goals of the Ka Hikitia strategy to ensure Māori enjoy educational success as Māori were right but that implementation was a problem. The second audit about school and whānau relationships showed that much of the school sector does have in place the necessary human relationships that build successful educational relationships.

This audit report illustrates where Māori students are across the education system and the inequitable treatment they receive.

One smart question this audit asks is about whether policies and programmes to raise Māori student achievement are cost-effective. The answer is that this is hard to tell because the information is incomplete. Another question is whether Māori students in similar schools achieve similar results to one another. They do not and there can be very large variation between schools.

We urge the sector to recognise that possessing information isn't enough. Information must be used in a formative way to ask smarter questions. This sort of enquiry must lead to more and better outcomes for Māori students as Māori. Neither the Treaty of Waitangi nor the difference in achievement should be motivation. This is an opportunity for all parts of the sector to excel and for everyone to succeed, with the sort of cultural nuance that draws people from overseas to learn from us in the first place.

Mere Berryman
Lorraine Kerr
Angus Hikairo Macfarlane
Wally Penetito
Graham Hingangaroa Smith