June 09, 2015
Truance driver for no-hopers
A Northland principal says high levels of truancy in the region point to a poverty of hope in the region.
The Tai Tokerau Attendance Service dealt with more than 1400 referrals last year, 85 percent of them Maori.
Pat Newman, who is president of Te Tai Tokerau Principals Association, says it’s the highest rate in the country, but it shouldn’t be seen as a problem just of families or schools.
"Families find it very very hard when theres no jobs available. We know very well that one of the reasons for truancy is poverty. Poverty can be in the way of food, in the way of clothing, in many cases it's poverty in the way of spirit. A lack of hope, a lack of belief you can't do anything different because for so many years up here families have been treated with absolute disdain by successive governments, Mr Newman says.
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