The name of the strategy – Te Matarau : Collaborative Pathways to Māori Economic Futures – further invokes the imagery of Māui fishing up Te Ika a Māui with his magic hook first pulling up Te Upoko o te Ika a Māui – the area now also known as the Wellington Region. Te Matarau is a multi – pronged spear used by Māori to catch as many fish as possible. Te Matarau holds onto the spirit of Māui seeking out new opportunity through the fishing metaphor, while realising that we need multiple strategies, programmes, and solutions to create Māori economic futures moving into the next 20 years.
Te Matarau also means the multitude of faces, acknowledging the diverse Māori whānau, iwi, communities, realities and circumstances across the Wellington Region. This strategy will focus on utilising a range of approaches that address the diverse needs and opportunities of our diverse communities. This theme is also reflected in the English name for the strategy – Collaborative Pathways to Māori Economic Futures – acknowledging the innovative mindset required to find new opportunities, approaches and solutions.
This strategy is inspired by the kōrero that was captured by the working group from many of our Māori individuals, whānau, businesses, iwi, hapū and through marae engagement across the region. We hope to have embodied the many aspirations and intentions, to create a platform for our region to move forward, together.
From the outset, we have kept goals and key actions high level to allow flexibility and adapta bility whilst maintaining grounding through the values to keep to the kaupapa. The strategy signals the start of a journey of discovery where Māori co-create, co-design and co-implement with other key players the economic pathways that will emerge.
This need for flexibility and adaptability has been reinforced by the experiences and environment created as a result of the COVID19 disaster – just as this strategy was being written. As Wellington Region, New Zealand and the World continues to adapt to this new post COVID19 environment, this strategy provides a platform able to incorporate new paradigms, challenges and opportunities that have emerged during this un-precedented time in our history.
Mahia te kaheru matarau – Utilise the spade of a hundred blades
This whakataukī also highlights the importance of collaboration of effort when addressing significant challenges. It underpins the wide range of actions in the strategy requiring the collaboration of a wide range of key players in order for the pathways to Māori Economic Futures to be effective and sustainable.
Only Māori can determine what their ‘prosperous Māori futures’ should look like and this strategy is designed to begin the process of giving voice to Māori as they co-create, co-design and co-implement the strategy – pathways – and the actions that follow.
This strategy is focussed on a shared commitment (Te Kaheru Matarau) to Māori economic prosperity towards wellbeing across Te Upoko o te Ika. The strategy is designed to coordinate and encourage commitment by the many key players – Māori business, iwi, Māori land trusts and incorporations, marae, government, education providers, industry bodies, whānau, communities, and the wider business community. The goal is greater Māori economic prosperity delivered in a way that ensures wellbeing in the widest sense – for Māori, for communities, for the environment.
This can only be achieved by ensuring: Māori have control over their own economic development; the strategy has an inter – generational outlook; strategy, projects and approaches reflect and integrate mātauranga Māori and the Māori worldview; and the outcomes are directly linked to the health and wellbeing of Māori whānau, communities and the environment.
Our place is amazingly diverse in the people, thinking and doing, and we are continuously evolving. This strategy endeavours to represent that breadth of experience and insight, having engaged with Māori from all walks of life. Naturally, this strategy provides a starting point for what we envision the future for the next generations could look like. As our economy grows, so too will the priorities, opportunities and outcomes that make up this Māori economic development strategy for Te Upoko o Te Ika a Maui.