About us

Mō mātou

Muka Tangata is the Workforce Development Council for the food and fibre sector.

We work on ways to enhance vocational education and training (VET) to meet the needs of industry, iwi and hapū Māori, ākonga (learners), and kaimahi (workers), and support them to flourish.

  • We develop qualifications, standards, and micro-credentials to make sure people in our sector have the skills for work.
  • We ensure the vocational education and training system supports diverse needs, and ensure equitable outcomes so that they can flourish in the food and fibre sector.
  • We advise the government on how much to spend on these qualifications, standards and programmes across vocational education and training.
  • We do all of this in ways which honour te Tiriti o Waitangi and advance Māori Crown relations – we work so Māori can succeed as well as the other Treaty partner in our sector.

Learn more

Our industries

Muka Tangata represents 14 industry groups that make up the food and fibre sector.

Read more.

The Reform of Vocational Education (RoVE)

RoVE came into effect on 1 Apil 2020, aiming to create a vocational education system that would meet the diverse needs of learners, employers and communities, and ensure that people in the sector had the skills required to flourish.

The establishment of Workforce Development Councils (WDCs)

The reform saw the establishment of six WDCs, including Muka Tangata, to give industry greater input and leadership across vocational education. This was led by the WDC iEBs that were made up of industry representatives, a number of whom were subsequently appointed to the permanent WDC Council. The main role of iEBs was to oversee the legal establishment of WDCs, which occurred through an Orders in Council (OiC) process.

Our Orders in Council

Our OiC outlined the name of our WDC (that refers to the strands of muka (fibre) that bind people and land together), industries represented, governance arrangements and other core aspects of the WDC. More than 200 people and organisations provided feedback on the draft OiCs. This engagement helped ensure our WDC was established in ways that will best meet industry needs.

Once approved by the Minister of Education, OiCs were sent to the Governor-General for signature. On Monday 10 May 2021 Her Excellency the Governor-General, Patsy Reddy, gave Royal Assent, passing into law, OiCs establishing the six WDCs. The legislation came into effect on 11 June 2021.

See the Muka Tangata People, Food and Fibre OiC.

Changes to the provision of vocational education

The former polytechnics are all now part of Te Pūkenga which, with the former ITOs, brings together on-the-job, on campus, and online vocational education and training through a unified, network of regionally accessible provision.

Private Training Establishments (PTEs), the three Wānanga, and sub-degree level programmes at universities continue to be parts of the NZ vocational education and training system.

The new system also includes:

  • Regional Skills Leadership Groups provide advice about the skills needs of their regions
  • Centres of Vocational Excellence (CoVEs) including the Food and Fibre CoVE, to grow excellent vocational education provision and share high-quality curriculum and programme design across the system

Our people

Muka Tangata Council

Chaired by horiculturalist Erin Simpson (Te Atiawa), Muka Tangata has a council of 12, coming from a wide range of our the industries, and a variety of education and leadership roles. Meet our council.

Senior leadership team

Chief Executive Jeremy Baker leads a team of passionate professionals with extensive experience in education, training, public and primary sector organisations. Meet our senior leadership team.