National | Charter Schools

Ngāti Whakaue-run charter school bosses oppose critics

The managers of Rotorua's Ngāti Whakaue run charter school believe the iwi based partnership school will help lift Māori youth achievement in education. This follows criticism from NZEI Te Riu Roa that the introduction of more charter schools is not the educational solution for Māori or Pacific students.

Te Rangihakahaka Centre for Science and Technology bosses say their kura is an education and science hub for all schools and learners in the Rotorua district, Years 1 - 10.

"We're about helping every child and the whānau, to be equipped to return to school or seek alternative education opportunities," said Te Taumata o Ngati Whakaue Iho Ake Trust spokesperson, Bryce Murray.

NZEI Te Riu Roa Matua Takawaenga, Laures Park says with more than 85 percent of Māori attending mainstream schools, it's a cop out for the government to fund more charter schools.

"The Ngāti Whakaue Education endowment financially supports mainstream and Māori medium education schools throughout the region. So my message to those who oppose us is, keep working to lift the achievements of our students," said Murray.

25,000 Maori youth aged 15-24 are not employed, in education or training. In mainstream schools the expulsion rates are 4 times that of Pākehā.

"We sit with each student to create a plan for them and their whānau, to attain an education qualification and improve their lives."

For the past four years Te Taumata has run wānanga through it's Matakōkiri science, technology and mātauranga Māori programme during the school holidays.

Each term programmes will include week long wānanga on marae. Tri-lingual fluency in Māori, English and Coding will be supported.

The kura will take enrollments in a few weeks.