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Horomia: Opening of New Kura Kaupapa Maori

Hon Parekura Horomia
Associate Minister of Education

10 February 2006 Speech Notes

Opening of Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Kawakawa-mai-Tawhiti Hicks Bay
10am Friday 10th February


Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena ra koutou katoa
E ngā kārangatanga maha huri noa i te motu tēnā koutou katoa.
Ko te manu e kai ana i te miro, nōna te ngahere. Ko te manu e kai ana i te mātauranga, nōna te ao.

Good morning everyone. Thank you for this wonderful opportunity to join you today for the formal opening of your new school.

Acting Principal Kararaina Ngatai-Melbourne, establishment board chair Moki Raroa, board members and school whanau, family, friends, kaumatua, kuia, staff and students – thank you for your very warm welcome.

Education Minister Steve Maharey asked me to send his apologies as he is unable to join us today. He mihi mahana tenei ki koutou katoa.

An important person who is not with us today is Honore Chesley who recently passed away.

Honore was board chair of Wharekahika School through to the end of 2004, and at the time of his death, he was an active board member at Te Waha o Rerekohu.

As a local kaumatua Honore was heavily involved in education, personally supporting the notion of establishing a kura kaupapa Māori on this site since 1991.

Honore was very supportive of the move to establish this kura and today we are thankful for his passion and legacy.
The whanau have also demonstrated a high level of passion, drive, and commitment.

Ministry of Education officials were impressed at the strength of the community support shown at a community hui on 11 October last year.

Many parents and community members spoke in glowing terms of the quality of the education offered, the strong adherence to the principles of Te Aho Matua, and the strong support offered by local marae, schools, and Kohanga Reo.

In a short time your school has established very strong links with the local community.

This is recognised by the Education Review Office staff whose report of September 2005 stated: Strong whakapapa links between whanau members strengthen their support for their children and the kura. They are clear in their desire to provide high quality te reo Maori immersion education to students to enable them to achieve to the best of their ability academically, physically and culturally.

This is excellent news for every student here. We want to see all our young ones live as Māori, to actively participate as citizens of the world and to enjoy a high standard of living and good health.

Education is the key to a better future for them. I applaud your commitment to ensuring your students have access to quality education. This positions them well for a successful future.

We must continue to invest in their potential so they can succeed as Māori wherever and in whatever they choose.

As Māori we must continue to have pride in whom and what we are. Our unique cultural identity defines us and sets us apart from the rest of the world.

To all you mokopuna and tamariki here today you come from a strong whakapapa. Be proud of your heritage.

Your kura was based at Matahi o Te Tau Marae before entering the establishment phase of becoming a kura kaupapa Māori, and has strong links to Hinemauria Marae in Wharekahika.

Many people have been involved in the success we are witnessing today, but I would like to mention Makere Henare, the first teacher for two years at Matahi and Campbell Dewes a driving force behind the establishment of the school and employed as a teacher there.

I extend my congratulations to the kura whanau for its passion and commitment to the establishment of Kawakawa Mai Tawhiti as a kura kaupapa Māori. Your students will benefit for years to come from the desire of the staff and whanau to provide high quality te reo Māori immersion education.

Kararaina I wish you and everyone involved here today every best wish for a successful future.

This is a proud day with much to celebrate. Congratulations. My best wishes to you all.


NB: Wharekahika was the school which existed on the site, and was merged with Te Waha o Rerekohu as part of the Network Review in Matakaoa, thus making it possible for Kawakawa Mai Tawhiti to be established on this site.

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