Proposed Landscape of Māori Governance Qualifications


Qualifications in Māori Governance (at levels 1-6, excluding university qualifications) were reviewed in 2012 as part of the nation-wide mandatory review of qualifications.

Currently there are only a few qualifications in Māori Governance.

The mandatory review was to reduce the duplication and proliferation of qualifications on a national scale, and ensure that qualifications are useful, relevant, and valuable to current and future learners, employers and other stakeholders.

The review was led by a Governance Group appointed based on their expertise within the Māori Governance field.

The Governance Group had confirmed that the Māori Governance qualifications would be developed under Mātauranga Māori and Evaluative Quality Assurance (MM EQA) which acknowledges that a distinctive approach is required in order to quality assure Matauranga Maori qualifications, programmes and organisations credibly.

Systematic and rigorous in its approach, MM EQA is based on the principles that are of value to and central to Maori, focused on Matauranga outcomes, processes, philosophies and practises recognised on their merits.

More information about the Maori Governance qualifications review, and mandatory reviews in general, can be found on the following links:


A set of feedback prompts follow at the end of this document.

The Governance Group wishes to encourage you to feedback your whakaaro on the proposed suite of qualifications. Adding a reason for your comment will be useful, especially if you disagree with something.

The Governance Group wishes to thank you for your time to feed into the future design of our Maori Governance qualifications.

The Governance Group have adopted the following kaupapa Maori principles to guide this review:

Nga kaupapa Maori principles (replicated from MM EQA kaupapa Maori principles)

Whanaungatanga The care of akonga, whanau, hapu, iwi and matauranga Maori itself will be a fundamental outcome of the review.
Manaakitanga The presence and expressions of mana-enhancing behaviours and practices will be evident between all review participants.
Pukengatanga Those directly involved in the review will have the skills and knowledge needed to ensure that the values, beliefs, needs and aspirations of the people are met.
Kaitiakitanga All review participants will ensure that the authenticity, integrity and use of matauranga Maori is protected, maintained and transmitted appropriately.
Rangatiratanga The review will reflect a unique and distinctively Maori approach to ensure the needs of akonga, the wider community and other key stakeholders are met.
Turangawaewae The review process will ensure all stakeholders are engaged, able to contribute and their contributions acknowledged.
Te reo Maori As the primary vehicle for expressing and transmitting Maori knowledge, values and culture, te reo Maori is practiced, promoted and celebrated.
Tikanga Maori Important in preserving, protecting and transmitting nga taonga tuku iho, tikanga Maori is practiced, promoted and celebrated.

As part of the needs analysis undertaken by the Governance Group, a review of literature and survey has been completed. The information to date identifies the following as the key features of a Maori Governance qualification:

a Content
  Takes an in-depth look at: governance/management concepts (Western and Maori perspectives) and structures (current and future); and role/ responsibilities of a Director/Trustee across a diverse range of working environment.
Because of the growing influence and contribution of the Maori economy to NZ society, prepares participants to be future leaders on local, national and international stages.
Programme includes guest speakers with extensive Maori/indigenous and international governance experience and skills.
b Delivery
  Programme is flexible; i.e.: can be delivered in different contexts, settings and formats (such as wananga); and content can be delivered according to the tikanga/kawa of participants.
c Credibility
  Programme leads to a qualification, which is: transferable; valued across all levels, areas and sectors; nationally recognised; meets the identified needs of relevant sectors, industries and iwi/hapu; and has Maori, national and international credibility.
d Outcomes-focused
  Links governance to broader outcomes including: whanau, hapu and iwi wellness and well-being; wealth creation; improving whanau, marae, hapu and iwi cultural, social, economic, environmental and educational capability; and enhancing cultural identity.
e Approach
  Reinforces fundamental governance core skills while advocating the necessary skills and knowledge to be able to apply Maori concepts and tikanga to governance and management systems and processes in either generic or Maori-focused environments.

The feedback from the survey combined with the needs analysis and literature review highlight the need for two qualifications ranging from small Certificate(s) (or possibly provider developed Training Schemes) focused on key topics, to a larger Diploma which covers a wide range of topics.

Proposed Maori Governance qualifications

The Governance Group have placed Maori tikanga and values first as a basis and foundation for the qualifications below across all levels. These qualifications are inherently guided by tikanga (customs), Te Reo Maori (Maori language) and ahurutanga (risk management) within each kaupapa outlined below, and are delivered and applied within the context and values of the provider. The main kaupapa remain the same at each level however the depth and degree of knowledge increases as the learner moves from level to level.

Training Schemes

The Governance Group discussed the need for smaller flexible qualifications or awards. For example a series of five kaupapa that could be developed by a provider and delivered at any level in order to meet the immediate needs of the learner or group.

It is suggested that these courses be delivered under a training scheme which is outlined below:


The legal definition of a training scheme is:

" or training that -

(a) leads to an award; but

(b) does not, of itself, lead to the award of a qualification listed on the Qualifications Framework"

(Section 159, Education act 1989)

A training scheme would normally be a 'short course', with fewer than 40 credits, which is the credit threshold for inclusion on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF).

A training scheme is likely to be made up of assessment standards listed on the Directory of Assessment Standards, or non-standard-based components, for example courses, modules or papers.

Under the proposed Training Scheme Rules 2012, Rule 8.1, "Approval will not be granted to any institution for applications for training schemes where the training scheme has:

(a) a credit value of 40 or more credits and either -

     (i) is substantially similar to a qualification on the NZQF, or

     (ii) has outcomes that are more suited to being listed as a qualification on the NZQF;"

Therefore the Governance Group propose the following small awards under 40 credits.  Each topic is underpinned by the kaupapa Maori principles outlined in this document and can be delivered at level 1 - 6 to meet the needs of the learners.

At this stage we have not named the awards below however have grouped the awards under key elements within a Kaupapa Maori framework.



Kaitiakitanga / Manaakitanga

Introduction into Maori Governance

Broad overview of


  • Kaitiakitanga
  • Te Pono me te tika
  • Whanaungatanga
  • Rangatiratanga
  • Relationship Management
  • Communication
  • Values and Principles
  • Asset and financial management
  • Cash flow / return on investment
  • Social, Economic and Cultural responsibilities

Te Pono me te Tika


  • Legal and Ethical Responsibilities
  • Conflict of interest
  • Governance and Management leadership
  • Strategy planning / visioning
  • Wealth management / Distribution
  • Globalisation
  • Reporting requirements

Level 2

The analysis conducted for the review offers no convincing evidence of the need for Maori Governance qualifications at this level. There is an exception to this analysis and that is for small awards to meet the immediate needs of the learners.

Level 4 (with a series of some level 3 components)

The evidence from the literature review, needs analysis, and survey identifies the needs for a lower lever qualification and the Governance Group propose a level 4 qualification. The qualification is made up of the following kaupapa at a basic to intermediate level:

Proposed New Zealand Certificate in Maori Governance (Level 4):

  • Kotahitanga
  • Whanaungatanga
  • Te Pono me te Tika
  • Kaitiakitanga / Manaakitanga
  • Rangatiratanga

Level 6 (with a series of some level 5 components)

The evidence from the literature review also shows the need for a higher level qualification.  The Governance Group feel a diploma at level 6 can address this need.  It is envisioned that this diploma is an applied qualification.  The same key kaupapa that have been suggested at the lower level qualifications continue at the diploma level however it is expected that there is more in-depth focus at a higher level of the NZQF.

Proposed New Zealand Diploma in Maori Governance (Level 6):

  • Kotahitanga
  • Whanaungatanga
  • Pono / Tika
  • Kaitiakitanga / Manaakitanga
  • Rangatiratanga


We asked for your feedback and encouraged you to comment on and make suggestions about any aspect of the proposed qualification landscape. 

The last date to give feedback was Wednesday 26 September 2021.

Thank you.

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