Regional | Kura Kaupapa Māori

Kaiwaka community fears over relocation of kura

“They are scared of Māori succeeding as Māori. Only 4% of people in Kaipara speak Te Reo.”

A Māori immersion school in Ōruawharo is planning to move to Kaiwaka, reflecting a growing interest in Māori education.

But some Kaiwaka locals are opposing the establishment of Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngā Ringa o Matariki in a consultation process with the community, with the land needing to be redesignated.

Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngā Ringa o Matariki started in 2007 on the site of the old Ōruawharo School with a roll of 51 students and is the only kura in the Kaipara District. The decision was made to relocate the school to nearby Kaiwaka in Kaipara.

Kura tumuaki Reno Skipper says there is some angst within the community, but the kura needs a new site, one that is suitable for the growing needs of the school.

“They are scared of Māori succeeding as Māori. Only 4% of people in Kaipara speak te reo.”

“We want to bring our babies up in the language, so we want an early childhood centre, a kura kaupapa Māori and a wharekura as well.”

“We want to have a roll of at least 250.”

Students travel long distances

Some students travel long distances just to attend kura, with some travelling from as far as Ruakākā, which is over an hour away.

Te Ahurumōwai Maihi, a year-8 student at the kura, has been attending kura for two years, and she hopes to go onto wharekura. If the kura can’t accommodate her, she will need to move outside of the Kaipara District.

“Ko taku hiahia ko te haere ki tētahi wharekura pai te reo, pai te kapa haka, tino pai ki a au te kapa haka.”

I want to continue onto wharekura, one that is strong in te reo and kapa haka, I really like kapa haka.

Kaipara Māori councillor Pera Pāniora is in total agreement with the dreams and aspirations of the school, but the consultation process with the community needs to take place due to the land being designated as rural.

“I think it’s extremely important to have a kura here, especially as we actively decolonise our people, and education is particularly important.”

“It’s currently designated rural, so the kura has to go through something similar to a plan change, and that requires formal consultation with the community.”