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Mokai School - Release Of Waitangi Tribunal Report

Tuesday 18 April 2000

Mokai School
Release Of Waitangi Tribunal Report

Education Minister Trevor Mallard and Associate Education Minister Parekura Horomia will attend a hui at Mokai, west of Taupo, following a recommendation today by the Waitangi Tribunal that Mokai Primary School should be re-opened.

The small school was closed last October by the previous Minister of Education because of its low roll, Education Review Office reports that the quality of education was substandard, and because suitable education was available at nearby schools.

The Waitangi Tribunal has recommended that the school be re-opened next week. It wants the Ministry of Education to give the school enhanced resourcing and support for two years, on condition that the Mokai community ensures that a board of trustees is established, that a Maori teaching principal who has the confidence of the community is appointed, and that the school has a stable roll.

Trevor Mallard said the Government wanted to meet with the Mokai community before any response was made to the Tribunal's recommendations.

“While it will be impractical to re-open the school within such a short timeframe, the Government does not want to procrastinate in addressing the issues that the Tribunal has raised,” Trevor Mallard said.

“Parekura and I will be meeting with the Mokai community next month to start looking at how we will respond to the needs outlined in the Waitangi Tribunal report.

“I am delighted that Paramount Chief Tumu Te Heuheu of Ngati Tuwharetoa has agreed to convene the hui, so we can learn at first hand what the local people see as their education priorities.

“I know that many Maori parents believe that their children do best when their whanau are actively involved in their schools. This Government aims to see more Maori involvement in schools, and believes this will lead to enhanced Maori achievement.

"We are committed to lifting education quality and are willing to work with communities to achieve that aim."

Trevor Mallard said that because of the extensive nature of the issues covered in today’s report by the Waitangi Tribunal, he would be studying the report closely and discussing it with his Cabinet colleagues before commenting on specific issues raised.


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