The ‘why’ of the Māori Strategic Framework


Written by Emma Allen
Ka tautoko a Mairead Fountain i tēnei kaupapa

A colleague recently told me that a large part of their job was to explain ‘the why’ behind the Māori Strategic Framework, instead of focusing on ‘the how’ aspects. On hearing this I felt naïve, because surely, we all know about ‘the why’ at OP – do we really need to have it explained to us? But then I started doubting myself. I think I know the reasons why, but could I articulate them to another person, so that they understood as well?

We all know about ‘the why’ at OP, right?

I’m definitely no expert, but part of supporting my colleague and growing in my own bicultural competency is making an attempt to explain this ‘why’. Talking about this as a non-Iwi Māori Treaty Partner is daunting (and a bit scary) but pushing myself out of my comfort zone is necessary to living in a bicultural world.


So, ‘the why’ of the MSF from my perspective:


  • Equality isn’t the same as equity (thanks Kath! - Find out more about this). Having the same thing as everyone else doesn’t mean you get the same results.
  • Everyone is coming from their own cultural construct that created them. Understanding your own perspective can help you see others’ perspectives.
  • The past has shaped our world today and understanding the ramifications of these events on all of us now is important.
  • Each of us are part of a story/history that has meaning and significance
  • Our place here in Ōtākou has its own story/history and narrative which is unique
  • Understanding and acknowledging this places’ narratives and those of us around us is paramount.
  • Weaving those narratives into our education system is going to help create an inclusive and welcoming generation.
  • Keeping all our narratives alive is granting ourselves, our families, and our environments the respect they all deserve.


What would you add to my list? Does it make some sense to you? Maybe understanding ‘the why’ is as easy as making sure it’s talked about often and without the doubt of getting it all wrong. The ‘how’ on the other hand feels a lot easier with the ‘why’ understood and that’s when the MSF comes into play to guide us.


Thanks to all our colleagues that continue to explain the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ to us, we appreciate you! Kei runga noa atu koutou!



Image: Question mark pile by Arek Socha, licensed under

Published on 6 Oct 2021

Orderdate: 6 Oct 2021
Expiry: 6 Oct 2023