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Leadership and commitment essential – Maori Party

Leadership and commitment essential – Maori Party
Te Ururoa Flavell, Education spokesperson 16 May 2008


Leadership and commitment are essential if Maori students are to reach their full potential through education, says Te Ururoa Flavell.

He was commenting on the national launch of the government’s flagship Maori education strategy in Rotorua yesterday.

“‘Ka Hikitia’ is not a bad strategy document, and the Maori Party welcomes anything that will bring a focus on addressing the education system’s failure to engage Maori fully, to enthuse whänau in the challenge of education, and inspire their children to reach for the pinnacles of educational success,” he said.

“The Maori Party knows that mobilising the energy and passion of the people depends on committed leadership. The title ‘Ka Hikitia’, to be lifted up, implies that the government sees itself as providing that leadership.

“So the people who turned out to support the kaupapa might have been pretty disappointed not to see the Minister of Education, Chris Carter, present at the function,” he said.

“Here was an opportunity to engage with Maori teachers, principals, Boards of Trustees and iwi. The Associate Minister Parekura Horomia and Mita Ririnui fronted up, so can the people expect them to lead on this issue?

“The Minister’s no-show leaves questions about the government’s backing and resources for the strategy. The people will no doubt reserve judgement on the government’s commitment to implement the strategy by giving it the necessary priority to succeed.”

“I guess that reminds tangata whenua that they need not look to others for leadership on crunch issues like education, they can provide their own,” he said.

“Iwi have made great progress in education using their own scarce resources. It remains to be seen how Maori achievement benefits from the government ploughing ahead with its own strategies for Maori education, while all round the country, iwi are developing and implementing their own strategies by, with and for their own communities,” said Mr Flavell.


ENDS

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