“Pikau: A burden for one’s back…”

Graham Hingangaroa Smith
Vol 7, Number 1, p.24
Maori expectations of the Picot Report have not been realised. The provision of increased choice through the structural rearrangement of educational administration has not provided the guaranteed support for Maori language and cultural aspirations that Maori people are seeking. Maori people have sought greater autonomy over meaningful decision-making related to education. Maori people have sought increased power and resources to assume greater control over their own lives as guaranteed under the Treaty of Waitangi. Maori people have lost faith in the continued trend of Pakeha people providing the ‘solution’ because these solutions are moderated by dominant Pakeha interests. The surface appearance of the Picot Report creates an illusion of working in favour of delivering Maori aspirations and needs in relation to language and culture. Unfortunately, a closer examination reveals that the submerged agenda of assimilation sits close beneath the surface - it is clear that we have either not learned from past mistakes or have deliberately chosen to ignore the lessons of past educational policy endeavours.