Fund will allow Hato Paora to improve living environment


Hato Pāori College timuaki, principal, Nathan Matthews said he was pleased with the announcement of a new $20 million fund for Māori boarding schools.

“The ability to upgrade our facilities is timely.

Our preference would be to put it into pastoral care, because [students] spend 17 hours in the living environment and only seven hours in the school.”

The school had not had any major upgrades in the past 15 years and the living quarters for the boys had not been upgraded since the 1990s, Matthews said.

“It’s good to see the Government is considering Māori boarding schools because it does sit on the margins for policy decisions.”

“It’s a sign of the times that people are starting to see how valuable these schools are.”

As well as Hato Pāora, three Hawke’s Bay schools, Hukarere Girls’ College, St Joseph’s Māori Girls’ College and Te Aute College, would be eligible for money from the fund.

Matthews was concerned about how the fund would be distributed but was hopeful each school would get an equal share.

“For me, I would like to think they get $5m of it each. I would hate to think it would be divisive and for us to compete.”

Te Tai Hauāuru Labour MP Adrian Rurawhe​ says it’s not yet been decided how the money would be allocated between the four schools; however, it would be “fairly open-ended.”

“Schools will be able to invest money from the fund into pastoral care, property, education, or anything they view as needing a boost.”

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

The money would help Hukarere College, St Joseph’s Maori Girls’ College and Te Aute College, Hiha said.


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