The following statements form the foundation of the Literacy Aotearoa and ARAS philosophy and are the basis upon which policy is developed and implemented:
- Literacy in Aotearoa/New Zealand refers to literacy in Maori, English and mother tongue.
- Literacy is a basic human right of all New Zealanders regardless of age, sex, race, disability, sexual orientation, religious affiliation or political persuasion.
- The government, in accordance with te Tiriti Waitangi, and as a signatory of the Declaration of Human Rights, has a responsibility to promote and support the provision of literacy learning at all levels.
- The government needs to make a commitment to provide a secure funding base for developing adult literacy provision.
- Literacy difficulties are usually the result of inequalities in social and economic systems, and therefore not the individual's problem to be confronted alone.
- Maori are tangata whenua o Aotearoa, ARAS will seek to reflect te Tiriti o Waitangi throughout its philosophy and practice.
- The contribution of volunteers has been essential to the literacy movement in Aotearoa/New Zealand and should continue to be an important feature of its development.
- Literacy for Maori by Maori is a movement towards rangatiratanga as affirmed by te Tiriti o Waitangi.
- Literacy provision should be provided without cost to all participants, as of right.
- Literacy provision should focus on empowering people to formulate their own goals and fulfil their potential.
- Literacy provision should value the adult status of the learner, as well as that of the whanau and the wealth of experience they bring to the learning situation.
- All tuition should be student-centred and that students should be encouraged to direct their own learning and share the responsibility for it.
- An individual's desire for confidentiality will be respected.
- Student participation in literacy tuition should be voluntary.
- Student achievement and the effectiveness of literacy provision should be jointly evaluated by both students and tutors.
- A range of learning opportunities and environments are necessary in order to provide open access to learning and remove barriers.
- Literacy provision should reflect te Tiriti o Waitangi and the needs and ethnic make-up of the community in which it is placed.
- The community, including students and tutors as of right, should be represented in the decision making structure of the literacy schemes.
- All literacy workers should be trained in a way that reflects Literacy Aotearoa's philosophy
- Literacy research should be undertaken in Aotearoa/New Zealand and that Literacy Aotearoa should promote participatory research which will aid the development of the literacy movement.
- The relationship between LA and the English Speakers of other Languages movement should be strengthened and developed to recognise the shared learning philosophies and the joint service offered within many schemes.
- Literacy provision should be available to all trainees on government sponsored training schemes and in Post compulsory Education Training Schemes and attendance should be voluntary.
- Literacy provision should involve learners becoming more aware of the world and creating an understanding of power relations and the influences which operate within it.
- Literacy provision should build on the learner's knowledge and experiences and enhance their confidence and capabilities to initiate and to respond to widely different situations.
- Literacy provision should affirm and promote Maori knowledge and cultural values.
- Learners with special needs requirements, be it physical, emotional, psychological, sensory or psychiatric are afforded the same opportunities to integrate into mainstream literacy programmes.
- Working relationships with specialised disability services in the community be established and maintained to ensure information is disseminated to literacy schemes.