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He Aratūtahi | A Pathway On Which We Can All Stand

The National Māori Authority and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award have joined forces in a new partnership to advocate and develop pathways for young New Zealanders that are inclusive of Te Ao Māori and Tikanga Māori. The Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award has been operating in Aotearoa New Zealand for more than half a century with over 250,000 young people having benefited from the programme. The Award in Aotearoa asked rangatahi what their priorities are, and “what they really cared about” and they responded. They want to be able to get a job, save the planet, and importantly they expressed their desire to understand their identity, and to discover their place in Aotearoa today.

Today the Award enters a partnership with the New Zealand Māori Authority to navigate the He Aratūtahi pathway for the Award. This will enable rangatahi to explore their identity and place in Aotearoa. This pathway is not only for rangatahi Māori but all young New Zealanders to explore their place in our country and, for the Award to forge this pathway as a way of working for the future. We feel this partnership is a taonga that will enrich the Award and all it achieves for rangatahi and this country for years to come.

Karen Ross, National Director of the Award has said this is an occasion to celebrate:

“We have done an enormous amount of work over the course of the last few years and trying to ensure we encompass Te Reo Māori and Tikanga into our narratives and our resources. We now have a building approach towards tikanga Māori and are encouraged by our ongoing commitment to better understand and evolve the role of Te Tiriti into our everyday mahi. He Aratūtahi is the example of that, and I am extremely encouraged that this is an experience whereby all the rangatahi and young people who participate will come away with a much deeper understanding of our shared identity. Of course, we would also love to see more Rangatahi Māori join the programme, and other rangatahi explore the richness this pathway offers for them” Ross said

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“We have grown as a nation over the last several centuries and this new journey is about empowerment and enablement – but it also tells us that our rangatahi and young people are not just keen to explore their identity and the cultural significance of Te Ao Māori but what it means not just at home but as our young people explore the world. Te Reo Māori, Tikanga Māori and Māori culture are so important because it also makes us unique in the world. For the National Māori Authority that enablement and empowerment is so critical – that’s why we are leaning in to support the Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award and are encouraging all organisations to follow the same model they have developed” said Chair of the National Māori Authority, Matthew Tukaki.

The Duke of Edinburgh's Hillary Award is the New Zealand branch of the world's leading youth development Award. The Award aims to set young people up for success, with its traditional four elements to achieve – Physical Recreation, Voluntary Service, Adventurous Journey, and Skills. These create opportunities for young people to learn or hone skills, discover their passions, get active, give back to their community, and take part in an expedition or exploration outdoors.

The Award has always sought to give our rangatahi the tools, resources, connections, and support to make a difference in the world’s challenges. We will encourage our participants now and future to observe, engage, help, advocate and have courage to embrace our country’s rich culture, and discover themselves.

To find out more about the National Maori Authority

To find out more about the Award, visit

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