Strategic priority 3: Enhancing our impact in te ao Māori

Draft annual plan 2024/25.

The public sector needs to perform well for all New Zealanders.

Data regularly demonstrates that Māori experience poorer social and economic outcomes and generally have lower levels of trust in government compared to some other population groups.

In 2024/25, we want to continue building the relevance and impact of our work for Māori. We want our work to influence the public sector to improve the accountability system to reflect the uniqueness of New Zealand.

Our draft annual plan includes initiatives about accountability and performance of the public sector to Māori.

Accountability framework for Te Wānanga o Raukawa

The Education and Training Amendment Act 2023 established the wānanga-enabling framework, which creates new administrative settings for wānanga to recognise their mana, rangatiratanga, and unique role in the tertiary education system.

Planned work: Accountability framework for Te Wānanga o Raukawa
In 2024/25, we will continue to work with Te Wānanga o Raukawa on what a new accountability framework will look like for the Wānanga and the role of audit in supporting that framework.

Māori perspectives on integrity

In 2022, we created an integrity framework for the public sector. Although the framework was partially informed by Māori frameworks, there is more work to do to fully integrate te ao Māori concepts into the integrity framework so that it is better reflects New Zealand.

Work under way: Integrating Māori perspectives of integrity
In 2022/23, we started work to understand more fully what the concept of integrity means and looks like for Māori and how that could be applied in the public sector. In 2024/25, we will publish and promote an updated integrity framework and accompanying guidance that better integrates te ao Māori concepts.

Meeting public sector Treaty settlement commitments

To build and maintain meaningful and effective relationships between Māori and the Crown, public organisations need to meet commitments that the Crown made through Treaty settlements. Te Arawhiti – The Office for Māori Crown Relations is monitoring the Crown’s progress in meeting these commitments.

In 2023/24, we started work looking at how prepared selected public organisations are to carry out their Treaty settlement commitments. Our audit includes looking at the relationships and accountability arrangements between post-settlement governance entities and public organisations with settlement obligations. We will also look at the systems for overseeing and monitoring how the Crown meets Treaty settlement commitments.

This work aims to assist public organisations, such as Te Arawhiti and Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission, identify how they can better support public organisations to meet their Treaty settlement commitments.

Work under way: How well-prepared are public organisations to meet Treaty settlement commitments?
In 2024/25, we will complete a performance audit looking at the system of Treaty settlement commitments. Our work will look at how well public organisations understand the settlement commitments they are responsible for, how well public organisations prepare themselves to meet those commitments, and how assurance and accountability is provided for the performance of public organisations in meeting those commitments.

The Public Service response to the Public Service Act 2020

In 2020, a new Public Service Act was introduced. The Act, among other things, requires:

  • Public Service leaders to develop and maintain the capability of the Public Service to engage with Māori and to understand Māori perspectives; and
  • the Public Service Commissioner, when developing and implementing the newly required leadership strategy, to recognise the aims, aspirations, and employment requirements of Māori and the need for greater involvement of Māori in the Public Service.

To support the Public Service to meet these commitments, Te Arawhiti developed and led the implementation of Whāinga Amorangi: a multi-year cross-agency work programme designed to improve the Māori Crown relations capability of the Public Service. This work was supported by e Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission, Te Puni Kōkiri, and Te Taura Whiri I te Reo Māori.

Core Crown agencies were required to develop plans that describe how they will build the Māori Crown relations capability of their people, relevant to their role and functions. Those plans were then considered by a panel of experts, hosted by Te Arawhiti, in early 2022.

We are interested in how this work has progressed.

Planned work: Responding to the Public Service Act 2020
In 2024/25, we will start a performance audit looking at how Public Service agencies have responded to the Public Service Act 2020 responsibilities relating to Māori. We intend to carry out a performance audit that examines how core Public Service agencies have strengthened capability to support the Crown’s relationships with Māori. This will include how the agencies are approaching this work and how they measure and report on the effectiveness of their work towards improving capability.