Financial support promised for Māori boarding schools

māori boarding schools

Labour says it will recognise the important role Māori boarding schools play in growing future Māori leaders by committing $20 million to a fund designed to provide them with financial support to continue to house, educate and manaaki rangatahi in their care.

Only four of an original nine schools remain in Aotearoa; Hukarere College, St Joseph’s Maori Girls’ College and Te Aute College in Hawke’s Bay (Ikaroa-Rāwhiti) and Hato Pāora College in Feilding (Te Tai Hauāuru).

Hato Tipene closed its doors in 2000 followed by their sister school Kuini Wikitoria in 2001.

Turakina shut down in 2015 and now Hato Petera, based in North Auckland in 2019.

Te Aute College principal Shane Hiha says the school appreciates any political party that supports the “special character” of Māori boarding schools.

“By no stretch of the imagination are we rich schools,” he said.

“A number of Māori represent the negative statistics in society and to help them get an education is really important.

“We have 60 boarders and there is every indication that we will have more next year.

Labour’s Ikaroa-Rāwhiti candidate Meka Whaitiri said Māori boarding schools carry on a tradition that has grown many great Māori leaders.

“This is a significant commitment acknowledging the history and legacy of these iconic Māori boarding schools and how they continue to contribute to Māoridom and the nation today,” Whaitiri said.

“The rangatahi who attend these schools live and breathe Tikanga, reo and develop a sense of whanaungatanga that can only be achieved inside these unique institutions.

“Successive governments have given up on Māori boarding schools, but Labour believes in the unique role they play, not just in educating rangatahi, but in instilling Māori values in the next generation of leaders.


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