Futures Lab and Rangatahi Maori
While many areas of the workforce have been shaken by the effects of Covid-19, a Ngāi Tahu futures lab has been working to give rangatahi Māori the opportunity to decide their own futures.
Futurists have thought up myriad strategies for how the world should look post-Covid. For all its hurt, the global pandemic is offering nations a once in a lifetime opportunity to reshape their economies, the way people live their lives and the help they’re given along the way. For Māori, this could be a chance to change negative outcomes and start to steer the waka towards a better future.
For a small group from Ngāi Tahu, there’s no time to wait to start opening conversations about Māori outcomes post-Covid, which is what their newly-founded futures lab has set its sights on.
A staff of about eight run the Māori Futures Collective – Tokona Te Raki. Funded by a collaboration between Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and the J R Mckenzie Trust, the small team has big goals to empower rangatahi Māori, and put in place new systems to ensure young people use their voices.
Founder Dr Eruera Tarena says they’re making moves to ensure the opportunities presented by the current economic and social landscape aren’t wasted.
“Doing nothing means inequality grows and that’s something that ultimately doesn’t sit with our values, and as a nation I don’t think that sits well. So that’s kind of popping that bubble and saying this is what will happen if we keep going as we have been – and here’s an alternative.”
They’ve produced a series of future scenarios, sparked by the thought that rangatahi Māori would only continue to suffer if we, as a country, went back to the pre-Covid systems that had disadvantaged Māori for generations. It’s a Treaty-based future they’re after, and the four scenarios designed by Tarena and his team show that this is entirely possible with the right support.
“The opportunity for us is at a national level and that opportunity around Treaty partnership, what would authentic Treaty partnership look like as a founding basis for our country, our society, our values, our education system and our economy.”
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