July 25, 2018
Dame Tariana Turia joins Treaty claim in support of Māori success
Statement from Dame Tariana:
Today I have joined the Claim before the Waitangi Tribunal, led by Sir Toby Curtis and Dame Iritana Tawhiwhirangi on behalf of tangata whenua, opposing the shutdown of Kura Hourua/Partnership Schools.
The failure of the Crown to consult mana whenua before issuing termination notices to successfully performing schools is a national disgrace.
This has been a wonderful opportunity for championing Māori success. The Martin Jenkins evaluation recorded that 45% of students were Māori and 29% Pasifika. This is what the state calls “priority students”; one would have thought, therefore, that whānau, hapu and iwi views about the decision to close centres of excellence for Māori would have also been a priority.
What the Jenkins evaluation also showed us is that the majority of parents preferred their children to attend a kura hourua because of close cultural alignment. Zero fees or costs other than travel to and from school were also seen as pull factors, attracting whānau to kura hourua.
Our tamariki mokopuna have flourished, in having the option to attend a school in which they could see success and aspiration reflected on their own terms.
In partnership schools, our rangatahi are finding a reason to love learning and a new sense of purpose. The Kura Hourua model has been remarkably innovative for Māori education, delivering high quality education in uniquely New Zealand settings. Many schools are community partnerships involving iwi, Māori educationalists and whanau themselves.
I have been a staunch supporter of Kura Hourua from day one. For as long as our whānau advocate for options for success for our tamariki mokopuna, I will be part of this fight.
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