NorthTec is introducing a unique new business programme in Māori Enterprise, following significant consultation with hapū, iwi and Te Tai Tokerau communities.
The tertiary institute revealed the new programme during Māori Language Week/Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, although the programme will not be conducted solely in te reo Māori.
In 2021, learners studying the Bachelor of Applied Management will be able to choose to major in Māori Enterprise by taking four new courses. Each course will offer core learning outcomes focusing on Māori values and perspectives on organisations and business.
A Graduate Diploma in Māori Enterprise is also going through the NZQA approval process.
The Māori Enterprise major has been developed by tutors Catherine Murupaenga-Ikenn and Peter Bruce-Iri, and Murupaenga-Ikenn will be the lead tutor.
"This is an exciting boost for tangata whenua, hapū, iwi, local communities and businesses in Te Tai Tokerau. A Māori Enterprise major has the potential to positively transform industry and economies. It is designed with the goal of increasing Māori engagement in vocational education," she said.
Murupaenga-Ikenn said the Māori Enterprise major is being introduced at a time when the value of indigenous peoples' traditional knowledge is receiving wide recognition.
"Normalising a more 'Māori' business mindset among students will help amplify the already considerable pioneering efforts of whānau, hapū, iwi and businesses in Te Tai Tokerau and beyond."
Jon Smith, NorthTec's Acting Chief Executive, thanked members of the community whose support and contribution had assisted with the development of the programme.
"We're delighted to instigate another programme that demonstrates our commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi. This includes creating natural synergies with our te reo Māori and other courses, which will enhance Māori culture and wellbeing in the community," Smith said.
He said while it's expected that the programme will have strong Māori appeal, it is also available to people of all backgrounds who might want to understand about Māori approaches to business practice.
The four courses forming the Māori major are Māori Enterprise; Governance in Aotearoa; Mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge); Kaitiakitanga (guardianship).
The papers will not be taught in te reo Māori, although the use of Māori words, phrases and concepts will be central to the major.
NorthTec also offers a Diploma in Business (Level 5), which can form the first year of the Bachelor of Applied Management and therefore create a pathway to the degree.