Recognising te reo and tikanga Māori in schools starts with pay equity, says the Green Party.
Announced yesterday, the proposed pay equity settlement would see a kaiārahi i te reo who is currently earning $23.03 per hour rise to $41.31 per hour.
“Māori leaders have pushed for generations to create our own education spaces and have often had to do that out of their own time and money,” says Teanau Tuiono, Green spokesperson for education.
“Kaiārahi i te reo hold in-depth knowledge of te reo and tikanga Māori. An NZEI investigation recently found these values, expertise and skills have been historically undervalued because kaiārahi i te reo are mostly wāhine Māori.
“This is a legacy of Māori having to take matters into their own hands, without recognition, and often through unpaid labour.
“This offer is life-changing; mō ngā kaiārahi, mō ngā mokopuna, mō te reo.
“We want to see pay increases across the education sector that recognise the incredibly scarce expertise of our Māori speaking teachers particularly for our teachers in kura kaupapa, kura-a-iwi and kōhanga reo as well.
“With a strong Green Party voice in Parliament, we would increase funding for kura kaupapa, kohanga reo, and mainstream te reo immersion and bilingual classrooms, including funding for professional support of Māori medium teachers and teacher scholarships.
“Because we know from our experiences at the moment that when Māori are able to shape our education spaces, and are recognised and paid properly to do so, our Māori communities are able to thrive.
“We need to acknowledge all our teachers who are crucial to the revival and preservation of te reo and tikanga Māori, and that starts with acknowledging and ensuring they are being paid well,” says Teanau Tuiono.