Māori schooling has progressed significantly from its early to mid-20th century goal of assimilating Māori into the low-skilled Pākehā (European New Zealanders) working class. The contemporary economy requires that all citizens contribute to their full capacity.
However, in this context there is still a Māori desire “to achieve as Māori” and for the state to step back. Curtis and Tawhiwhirangi make this claim with reference to the Treaty of Waitangi. It can also be made with reference to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples:
‘Indigenous peoples have the right to establish and control their educational systems and institutions … in a manner appropriate to their cultural methods of teaching and learning.’