“Can’t help thinking that if Maori, and Maori parents in particular, were to place a higher value on education it would provide a wider skills base and therefore more job choices when it comes to combating unemployment. Taking an active interest in their kids schooling and making that a priority is what’s needed.”

This is a comment by one of my Maori friends. This man is very well educated himself and has played and continues to play a very significant role in New Zealand affairs. He has a range of skills and is well qualified to comment of the state of affairs in Aotearoa. I just hope the man is listened to. I hope his words are heard. I hope that those who hear his words both act on them or pass them on so that others can. I don’t believe the suggestion is that Maori children are non-achieving as much as suggesting under-achieving as a result of lack of motivation or expectation, and the paucity of parent-initiated aspiration. He says that too many parents are non-achieving as parents. Here are his actions and intentions in his whanau.

“So being with my own family the points we have been concentrating on are:

  • Everyone of a working age has a job – no one on the dole
  • Every married couple has a house
  • All kids attending school regularly and encouraged in doing so
  • Assistance with education once they get to secondary school (Family Trust funds)
  • Encouragement to go on to University – in fact it is an expectation
  • Regular contact with each other and keeping family ties strong (our elderly mother is the link and provides the focus here)
  • Helping our cousins and the wider whanau where we can – encouraging the maintenance of whanau links so as to have a safe network
  • Encouraging whanau to build on family land so that they always have a secure base

The key is finding someone within each whanau to be the driver – migration to OZ has disrupted this terribly.”

Well said.


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