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Politics | Kura Kaupapa Māori

Jan Tinetti fears Māori kura upgrades could face the axe under the new school razor regime

Tinetti says kura Māori could drop in priority because their architecture tried to incorporate tikanga concepts.

Former education minister Jan Tinetti says kura Māori will be sent to the back of the class through the government’s ministerial inquiry into the school building process.

Hundreds of projects are now in limbo because of what the current minister Erica Stanford says was a lack of committed finance and expectations far exceeding what could be delivered.

Stanford pointed to bespoke one-off designs contributing to cost blowouts.

Tinetti says kura Māori could drop in priority because their architecture tried to incorporate tikanga concepts.

“There are reference designs for Maori medium education as well, taking in the tikanga. I’m very disappointed, hearing from a number of kura, that they feel they’ve been put to the bottom of the list again. It’s not okay,” she says.

Tinetti says some kura have found ways to tweak modular classroom designs so they fit with tikanga.

Stanford said there had been examples of poor planning, citing the Te Tātoru o Wairau Marlborough schools co-location project, which Stanford claimed had years of cost escalations with construction estimates of up to $405 million, despite originally only having $170m allocated by Cabinet in 2018.

Prime Minister Christopher Luxon, said the school property system was “bordering on crisis.”

The Education Ministry had paused about 20 building projects within weeks of the new Government being formed.

The ministry had also informed Stanford that there could be up to 350 projects in various stages, from design through to pre-construction, where expectations far exceeded what could delivered.

“It is deeply concerning that many of these projects, years in the planning, were not underpinned by a value-for-money approach from the beginning,” she said.

Stanford said the poor execution of the approach to education property planning was at an “unprecedented scale”.

Additional reporting Claudette Hauiti, Waatea.News.Com

=New Zealand Herald

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