Many tribes throughout the country are grappling with the placement of matauranga and education more broadly within the scope of their aspirations and goals for their people; and against a backdrop of Treaty settlement claims, advancements in reo, radio, fisheries, radio spectrum and land development. The progress has not held momentum and changes in the way in which our economic environment works has created a competitive environment for employment, training and community survival.
Striving for educational achievement has therefore been something that we have always been good at, but changing environmental circumstances have made that achievement so much difficult; where youth need far greater assistance to make their way in life. Employment targeted by our own people is now being offered to a raft of contenders; including many new migrants to the country. A people once fluent in Te Reo, Ngāi Te Rangi is now struggling to capture the very essence of conversational reo at home; on the marae; and within our communities.
This education plan aims to make a difference in that emerging landscape. As our first education strategy is about to be launched, this year 2011 also marks the twentieth year anniversary of the launching of the Turirangi Te Kani scholarship. The first grant of its type dedicated to advancing educational achievements of our people; also sets a scene for us moving forward in a more deliberate way to retain, enhance and grow our knowledge, our people and our communities so we can stand steadfast in the future.
This plan signals that our people are prepared to take up the challenge of making reo, identity, culture and educational achievement as a whole a priority in our the lives of our whanau; so that in another twenty years time; our future generations will have benefited from that dedication and foresight.