Introduction from the Minister for Social Development and Employment

Manahua te mānehurangi – Take charge of your destiny.

E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā karangatanga maha o te motu whānui, tēnā koutou katoa.

Hon Carmel Sepuloni, Minister for Social Development and Employment

Hon Carmel Sepuloni, Minister for Social Development and Employment

Ka hoki I ngā mahara ki ngā mate huhua o te wā, haere, haere, haere atu rā

Ki a tatou e te hunga ora tēnā huihui mai tatou katoa.

I am pleased to present te Mahere Whai Mahi Māori - the Māori Employment Action Plan (‘the Action Plan’).

This Action Plan had its beginnings with Te Ara Mahi Māori, an independent reference group, which led hui across the motu. The group shared valuable mātauranga, taonga and their collective kete of knowledge to provide recommendations to the Government on what should be included in the Action Plan. An all-of-government process has developed the actions that make up the Action Plan. I am excited by the opportunities that this plan presents for Māori across the motu.  

The Government has an important role in leading Aotearoa New Zealand’s employment, education and training system. As we continue to secure our recovery, we’re committed to accelerating our efforts in supporting more Māori to find quality work or pivot in their careers.  The Action Plan sits alongside other employment, education and training initiatives that are already in place. We’ve already seen some great outcomes through Mana in Mahi, Māori Trades and Training, and He Poutama Rangatahi.

These initiatives are only part of a suite of economic and industry development initiatives that aim to shape Aotearoa New Zealand’s economy in a way that benefits all New Zealanders. In addition to providing universal education services to all New Zealanders, the Government regulates the labour market and provides support services for those who experience labour market disadvantage.

The Action Plan recognises the role of Te Tiriti o Waitangi in providing guidance for how the Government can continue to work alongside Māori, iwi and hapū. The Action Plan has been developed in alignment with the principles of Te Tiriti, which will also be reflected in how actions are implemented – this is imperative in order to achieve equity between Māori and non-Māori.

The Action Plan provides tangible actions towards the vision of the Government’s Employment Strategy: 'everyone working to create a productive, sustainable and inclusive Aotearoa New Zealand'. It brings together work programmes that recognise the inherent mana in our Māori communities and will give them tools to develop skills; move into rewarding, secure, well-paid work; and enjoy fulfilling employment.

This Action Plan is for Māori from all backgrounds and walks of life. It recognises that Māori are not a homogenous group, and emphasises lifting the most vulnerable people in our Māori communities.

I am excited and hopeful about the opportunity this Action Plan creates. It will enable our whānau, hapū, iwi and wider hapori to thrive and succeed as Māori. I am committed to working with my Ministerial colleagues to genuinely recognise and support Māori aspirations, te ao Māori and respond to Māori employment potential to create intergenerational change for Māori.

Thank you to everyone who has been involved in developing the Action Plan and will continue to be involved in implementing it.

Hon Carmel Sepuloni

Minister for Social Development and Employment