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Pacific voices shaping the future of education in New Zealand

Talofa lava, Malo e lelei, Kia orana, Talofa ni, Fakaalofa lahi atu, Ni sa bula vinaka, Namaste, Kia ora.

We want to express our gratitude to all the parents, teachers, young people and communities who shared their ideas and opinions either face-to-face at one of the 27 fono we held nationwide or through our online survey.

We heard from around 3500 people on a wide range of issues and opportunities in education and beyond. We hosted eight Pan-Pacific education fono in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch, Oamaru and Dunedin, as well as a series of smaller ethnic and group specific fono across Auckland.

We received over 13,000 comments from participants. We heard that the education system needs to acknowledge and value Pacific cultures, identities and languages, and learner and family wellbeing. You’ve also made it clear that, for Pacific people, success is about the collective and that a child’s success is the success of the family.

Sadly, many of you also told us that racism and bullying is prevalent in our education system. You can read a summary of the feedback we gathered.

This feedback is now shaping our future education system. It is adding a Pacific voice to the NCEA Review, Tomorrow’s Schools Review, and Reform of Vocational Education (ROVE) as well as to the Government’s Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy, the Early Learning Strategic Plan and to other parts of the education reform programme.

It is also shaping a new plan for Pacific education.

Later this year we’ll head back out to our Pacific communities to check we’re on the right path with our thinking and to design the next plan in discussion with the education sector and communities.

We know we can’t do this alone. To see a system that responds to and values the diverse identities, languages and cultures that make up our Pacific communities, we need to work collectively and build on the innovation and resilience of our Pacific communities in Aotearoa.

In the interim, our existing Pasifika Education Plan will remain in place until the end of 2019.