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Iwi group saddened by Longstone loss

19 December 2012

Iwi group saddened by Longstone loss

Nga Kaikokiri Matauranga – Iwi Advocate for Education is saddened to hear that one of the country's most senior education bosses Lesley Longstone has quit.

"Longstone had the bravery, unlike many before her, to publicly say the education system was failing Maori children," says Awanui Black of NKM.

"She didn't tell Maori anything we didn't already know but when you get someone so high up, who isn't Maori, giving voice to that, you've got to acknowledge them."

"Longstone may not have had all the answers to sort the problem but at least she had the courage to admit there was a problem."

Mr Black says it will be a backward step for the nation if a person, who did not hold the same view as Longstone on the system's failure of Maori children, was appointed Secretary of Education.

“We don't want to be taking that person back to the black board because if we have to then we'll never get this problem fixed, not in this decade anyway," Mr Black says.

Statistics show that one in three Maori children leave school with no qualification.

Nga Kaikokiri Matauranga – Iwi Advocate for Education is a newly formed advocacy group which represents 60 iwi organisations throughout the country delivering education and training programmes. They are also the technical advisory group to the Iwi Chairs Forum (matauranga / education workstream). NKM is developing strategies to tackle the education system’s failure of Maori children.

ENDS

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