NorthTec is launching a new Māori Capability Development Framework for staff during Te Wiki o Te Reo – Māori Language Week.
The framework, named Koni Ahi – Sitting by the Fire, is designed to help boost Māori student achievement and teach staff transferable skills in the development of Māori cultural capability.
Acting Chief Executive, Jon Smith, said: “This is an important step for NorthTec, in terms of supporting our Māori ākonga (learners), helping us meet our commitments to Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and helping us meet the expectations of our New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology charter.
“Māori students form a significant proportion of our existing learners, and this proportion will increase as the younger Māori population leave school.
“The name Koni Ahi has been chosen because it refers to the fact that we don’t sit beside a fire without purpose, but to gain warmth individually and collectively. In essence, it is about taking collective action to meet the challenges of Māori student achievement and ensuring that vocational training in Te Tai Tokerau is more responsive to the needs of the hāpori (community).”
The framework is based around staff developing skills in six key areas: Whakapapa (geneology, and understanding its importance); Te Reo (language and pronunciation); Tikanga (cultural practices); Te Tiriti (understanding Te Tiriti o Waitangi and how it applies to NorthTec); Ako (Māori teaching and learning theory); Ahurea (Māori culture and society).
Meeting the competencies in the framework will form part of staff professional development, and performance reviews will be linked to the competencies. Tools will be available to help staff develop their knowledge.
NorthTec is in the process of appointing a staff member as Cultural Capability Lead, on a 12-month secondment, to embed Koni Ahi across the organisation. The process of appointing a Kaumātua, following the passing of long-standing previous Kaumātua, Hohepa Rudolph, is also in progress.