National | Education

Ngāti Whakaue confident for new Rotorua charter school

Charter school owners expect the government to change their status with some becoming special character state schools. Te Taumata o Ngāti Whakaue, who will be opening their new charter school in Rotorua, are confident the move will improve the way charter schools operate.

It's full steam ahead for Te Rangihakahaka Centre for Science and Technology.

"We have a signed contracted with the Ministry," said School Director Renee Gillies.

"Yes we have different obligations for that contract. The work that we've been doing to establish the kura hourua, I believe we'll be fine."

80 whānau have registered their interest for 130 students. The new site will be at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa's Dinsdale street campus.

"The people are really excited," said Te Taumata o Ngāti Whakaue Senior Manager, Bryce Murray.

"Yes, it's confirmed that this is where the new charter school Te Rangihakahaka will be."

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

The new charter school for years 1-10 will foster Ngāti Whakaue history and customs.

"I think we need to change the way we teach," says Jamie Rolleston (Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāi Te Rangi).

"This method suits Māori and returning to the way our ancestors engaged with their different environments, even though they didn't only learn in the classroom."

"One of the big kaupapa we're looking at is ara ahi, geothermal," said Gillies.

"So our tamariki will be out there walking in those places, testing that environment in terms of their science. Really relating that to kōrero of our tūpuna as well."

The school is open to enrolments and is expected to open on January 30 next year.