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Supporting Māori cultural aspirations - Te tautoko o ngā hiahia ahurea a Māori

What is the objective?

Iwi-Māori, the Ministry and other cultural sector organisations have strengthened capacity to advance Māori cultural aspirations for the benefit of Māori and for all New Zealanders.

Te Arataki, the Ministry’s strategy to support Māori cultural aspirations, sets out a four year plan that takes an intergenerational view and a partnership approach. This requires a conversation that builds consensus over time. 

The outputs that contribute to medium-term progress will be refined in partnership with iwi to understand how we can more meaningfully measure the collective impacts of Māori cultural aspirations for iwi, Māori and all New Zealanders.

How we know if this is being achieved


How do we measure this?

Target (from SOI)


Proportion of iwi with whom the Ministry has an ‘active’ relationship

The baseline is set at 24% based on the number of ‘active’ relationships that the Ministry had with iwi during 2015/16.


2015/16 is the baseline year


Number of publicly funded cultural agencies with co-designed iwi initiatives


The baseline is set at 5 as 5 of our funded agencies are working with a range of iwi.




2015/16 is the baseline year


Te reo capability programmes in publicly funded cultural agencies


The Ministry will work with Te Mātāwai and the sector agencies to consider their internal te reo capability and number of programmes in place. Once this work is complete a baseline can be set.




Baseline is expected to be set in 2016/17

Measuring success

The following provides further detail on the Ministry’s work in supporting Māori cultural aspirations.

Active relationships

Maintaining strong connections with iwi is an important way of ensuring that the Ministry is responsive to the needs of iwi/Māori and can work with iwi to advance their cultural aspirations. In 2015/16 the Ministry had ‘active’ relationships with 18 iwi. As part of this work the Ministry negotiated and agreed 15 relationship agreement protocols with individual iwi. In total the Ministry now has 44 protocols with iwi throughout New Zealand. 

In 2015/16 the Ministry also facilitated engagement with a range of agencies to support significant sector-led events including the Waitangi Day commemoration events; the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park and Great War Exhibition blessings; and Te Papa’s Repatriation Programme.

Co-designed iwi/Māori initiatives

The Ministry and other cultural sector agencies are exploring how we can support iwi/Māori more effectively and ensure the best use of available resources.

A co-designed iwi initiative is where an iwi/Māori entity and the Ministry, and/or one or more of our funded agencies identify, agree and work towards a common objective that supports an iwi aspirational goal. In 2015/16, for example, the Ministry worked closely with the Parihaka community and cultural sector agencies on the co-designed Kawe Tutaki ‘strengthening Parihaka’ initiative.

Te Reo capability programmes in cultural agencies

The enactment of Te Ture mō te Reo Māori 2016 (The Māori Language Act 2016) will see the establishment of Te Mātāwai, an organisation responsible for leading the revitalisation of te reo Māori on behalf of iwi and Māori. The Ministry will work closely with Te Mātāwai, the agencies we fund, and other cultural sector agencies to explore how we can collectively contribute to the Māori Language Strategies that will be developed. As part of this process agencies will consider their internal te reo capability.

Other Ministry activities

In a range of other ways the Ministry supported Māori cultural aspirations including:

  • revising the Regional Museums Policy for Capital Construction (now known as the Regional Culture and Heritage Fund) to, among other things, expand the eligibility criteria for funding to include whare taonga
  • providing advice to Te Puni Kōkiri on Māori language arts (kapa haka, literature and other Māori language arts) and, with the Department of Internal Affairs, on Māori language archives (Māori language manuscripts, publications, audio-visual archives and other historical records in public institutions)
  • co-ordinating the Kaihautū relationship network of sector-funded and other agencies to share information
  • establishing Te Arataki Wānanga, a Ministry advisory group that advises on the approach to implementing the Ministry’s strategy for achieving iwi/Māori cultural aspirations by understanding what the Ministry does best
  • embedding best practice use of, and access to, te reo in the Ministry and agencies funded through the Ministry, including bi-lingual translation in the signage in all areas of common access and use in the Ministry’s new premises (the former Public Trust Building, Wellington)
  • advancing Treaty Settlement stories, oral history, print and digital projects, including finalising agreements with Ngāti Awa, Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Whātua to commence the first co-designed iwi settlement histories
  • producing digital and print publications which showcase Māori culture, history, and language, including the history of Māori in the First World War and the 28th Māori Battalion in the Second World War.

Updated on 16th March 2017