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Innovation & Autonomy Keys To Maori Education,Jobs

Education and jobs are the keys to closing the gaps in Maori participation, deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton told guests today at the opening of a new kura kaupapa unit in his own Wigram electorate in Christchurch.

He said solutions to Maori needs and problems require innovation and more autonomy for Maori to provide solutions for Maori.

Te Kura Kaupapa Maori O Te Whanau Tahi was jointly opened by the deputy Prime Minister and his wife Carole Anderton, who is a Christchurch City Councillor. The kura is a significant new facility teaching Maori language.

Jim Anderton is calling on New Zealanders to understand that systems used in the past have not been delivering well for Maori.

"We have to be innovative and creative in what we do. Kura kaupapa, kohanga reo and other Maori language and mana programmes are integral to a whole new approach.

"The kura kaupapa movement is part of a drive in education for Maori autonomy and independence and Maori solutions to Maori needs and problems. Attempts by pakeha to impose solutions for Maori have not been successful in closing the gaps.

"The Government is committed in its 'Closing the Gaps' strategy to supporting innovative Maori programmes and more autonomy for Maori.

"The Government's economic development initiatives will include close cooperation with iwi organisations and local Maori communities throughout the country to develop economic opportunities for Maori and to create jobs.

"In the same way that the education system is adapting to Maori solutions to meet Maori needs through initiatives like kura kaupapa, economic development policies will be flexible to ensure Maori can take advantage of new opportunities.

"The Government has a heavy responsibility to ensure the gaps are closed, and we will take a partnership approach to solving the problems. The Government will support programmes that are innovative, that are operated by Maori and that increase educational and job opportunities," Jim Anderton said.


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