Ka tau mai ki a tātou te hunga e whaiwāhi ana ki tēnei pūrongo, tēnei te mihi nui ki a koutou.
New Zealand today is a stronger, fairer and more confident nation than it was several years ago. More people are in work, incomes are higher, educational achievement is improving and crime rates are lower. Building a sustainable economy, society, environment and national identity requires strategic and active government working with key stakeholders – it doesn’t happen by accident. The future is bright, but we need to build on these four pillars of sustainability.
Across society, the achievements of Māori as tangata whenua have further entrenched our status as a unique and valuable partner in New Zealand’s economy and developing sense of nationhood. Increasingly, Māori are succeeding as Māori. Our Māori population is growing, it’s youthful, more of us participate in tertiary education, our reo is starting to thrive and the Māori economy is growing as a result of our flourishing asset base. It is an exciting time for Māori economic and social development and indeed for Māori whānau and individuals.
Yet there is more to be done to enable all Māori to realise their potential. We cannot build a strong economy on a society where some are not supported to maximise their potential. Conversely, we cannot build a strong society on an economy which fails to generate the wealth required to fund opportunity and security for our people, protect our environment and develop our culture. A high value, innovative economy needs an educated and skilled, healthy, well housed, and secure society with the confidence to seize opportunity and take risks. Māori are gaining more educational qualifications and skills. I want that progress accelerated so the best opportunities are available to them, for life.
Seeing Māori lift their expectations of themselves and their whānau in this area must be a shared outcome for Government, individuals, whānau, hapü and iwi themselves. By building on the present momentum of success and working in a joined-up, focused and strategic way, this change will occur. My focus is to ensure Māori succeed in this rapidly changing world without compromising our uniqueness.
This Statement of Intent is aligned to the Government’s three priorities of supporting families, building nationhood, and growing a sustainable economy. By working together we can build a society in which Māori, along with all New Zealanders, have a firm stake.
Noho ora mai rā ki ō tātou marae kāinga me ngā wāhi katoa, i ngā manaakitanga a tātou ki a tātou.