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Iwi Taking a Stand on the Quality of Education in NZ


Iwi Taking a Stand on the Quality of Education in New Zealand

“Nga Kaikokiri Matauranga supports 100% the sentiments expressed by Nga Kura-a-Iwi chairman, Dr Toby Curtis”, said spokesperson for Nga Kaikokiri Matauranga, Mr Awanui Black. “New Zealand’s education system cannot be considered world class when one in three Maori children leave with no qualification.”

“Our group, Nga Kaikokiri Matauranga, was mandated by 57 Iwi – all of whom are actively engaged in education activities. We were subsequently adopted by the Iwi Leaders Forum to progress the Matauranga (Education) stream. This is a major issue for Iwi” Mr Black said. “One in two Maori boys leave school with no qualification. This is an enduring statistic not explained by any factor other than system failure” Mr Black said.

“We fully appreciate the challenging teaching environment and acknowledge the effort that individual teachers make with our tamariki and rangatahi. We need a system wide attitudinal shift. Change must occur at all levels. Iwi, hapu and whanau are doing their bit. It’s time for the education system as a whole to step up. Maori education statistics must be turned around. Only then can New Zealand education be considered world-class” Mr Black said.

“In our view it’s a whole systems approach that needs to be taken. Iwi are willing to work with anyone to make this happen” Mr Black said. “In the meantime, Iwi are organising themselves to do the work that isn’t being done by the education system with some iwi investing significantly in programmes such as numeracy and literacy” Mr Black said.

“The stakes for Iwi are high. We have a $6 billion economic base. We need people who will maximise this whilst ensuring our cultural values remain intact. Turning the education statistics for Maori around is in the best interests of all New Zealanders” said Mr Black.

Tauranga based Mr Awanui Black in one of a three member team driving Nga Kaikokiri Matauranga. The other two are Mr Terry Smith of Whangaroa and Ms Roana Bennett of Rotorua.


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