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New pre-school building for Pasifika community


26 July 2003 Media Statement

New pre-school building for Pasifika community

Education Minister Trevor Mallard today opened a new pre-school building in Mangere designed to serve the needs of three Pasifika communities under one roof.

The Mangere Pacific Islanders Presbyterian Church (PIC) Pre-schools have joined forces to cater for 120 pre-school children from three Pacific groups – Cook Islands, Samoa and Niue.

The government provided more than $1.1 million for the new building, which was 90 per cent of the total project cost and the single largest government contribution to an early childhood education building.

“I want to congratulate the Mangere PIC community for identifying early childhood education as a high priority. These pre-schools are meeting an important need in Mangere where children under five make up more than one in ten of the total population,” Trevor Mallard said.

“Our government believes that if we are to build a strong future for this country, we must establish early childhood education as the cornerstone of our education system.

“We are committed to ensuring all families have access to quality ECE services that are responsive to their needs and those of their children.

"Our 10 year plan for early childhood education, Pathways to the Future: Ngä Huarahi Arataki, released last year, aims to build on the big growth in participation of Pasifika children. It is working to ensure that in the coming years, Pasifika communities have ready access to early childhood education services that meet their needs,” Trevor Mallard said.

Planning for the new Mangere development has been underway for many years. Until now, the three groups, Aoga Fa’ata’ita’i (Samoan) Te Reo Kuki Airani (Cook Islands) and Fiti Lagakali Aoga Niue (Niue) have been operating in makeshift premises on the Mangere PIC site.

The new building on the church site has been funded from the Pasifika pool of the government’s early childhood education discretionary grants scheme.

The funding is focused on increasing participation for Maori, Pasifika and low socio-economic status children in quality early childhood services.

ENDS

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