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Education Priority for Children of the East Coast


14 April 2000
Immediate Release

Education Priority for Children of the East Coast

The Ministry of Education and Te Runanga O Ngati Porou were "absolutely determined" in their goal of ensuring that children on the East Coast were successful at school, the Secretary for Education, Howard Fancy, said today.

Mr Fancy said a further step towards achieving that objective was the establishment by the Ministry and the Runanga of a new education development and support team.

Based at the Runanga offices in Ruatoria, the team would be led by special project officer David Goldsmith.

The development was welcomed by Runanga Chief Executive Amohaere Houkamau: "The Runanga sees this as an imperative move in providing local solutions for education in our rohe. We are excited that we are moving towards meeting that aim of setting up a Ngati Porou education entity for Ngati Porou people."

Howard Fancy added: "We have come a long way since we established our working relationship with the Runanga and the people of the East Coast, but we still have considerable work to do."

The partnership project between Te Runanga o Ngati Porou and the Ministry of Education began after a damning report in 1997 by the Education Review Office on the education being delivered by schools on the East Coast.

The educational initiative has become recognised as 'Whaia Te Iti Kahurangi' - strengthening education outcomes in Ngati Porou and East Coast communities.

Amohaere Houkamau stated today that some of the more recent ERO reports had shown that schools had been "turned around."

"Tolaga Bay Area School and Ngata Memorial College are two schools that have shown a vast improvement.

"But a lot of work is still be done to ensure that all schools and kura are delivering quality education for the medium and long term and that the expertise that is in Ngati Porou is used collaboratively for the benefit of all. This would involve both formal and informal collaborative arrangements. We are delighted that David Goldsmith will lead this next step in our educational partnership with the Ministry."

David Goldsmith is an experienced teacher, principal and education liaison officer.

"When I was offered this opportunity I couldn't really say no to my people or to the idea of setting up a local educational entity for Ngati Porou," he said today. "I am optimistic about the future of schools in the rohe of Ngati Porou."

Other members of David Goldsmith's team will be brought on by the end of June. END

Contacts: Amohaere Houkamau, Chief Executive, Te Runanga O Ngati Porou. David Goldsmith Phone for either: 06 864-8121 / 025 364 388

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