Waitangi Tribunal releases Kōhanga Reo report
Hon Hekia Parata
Minister of Education
17 October 2012 Media Statement
Embargoed until 1.00am – Thursday 18 October 2012
Waitangi Tribunal releases Kōhanga
Education Minister Hekia Parata has today acknowledged the Waitangi Tribunal’s report on the Treaty of Waitangi claim relating to the Crown and kōhanga reo.
Ms Parata says the report findings will be assessed and considered alongside current work on funding and participation in the early years of learning and the development of Tau Mai Te Reo [the Ministry of Education’s Māori Language in Education plan].
“I will be seeking a meaningful and constructive way forward,’’ says Ms Parata.
“The Government continues to acknowledge the important role kōhanga reo play in education. Over a billion dollars has been directed toward funding kōhanga reo over the past twenty years. There is work under way in promoting greater participation in the early years of learning, and the Government is considering how best to support te reo Māori.
“I also recognise the hard work of the whānau and staff of kōhanga reo, and of Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust Board as they continue to work with the Ministry of Education and other relevant agencies.
“The Government and communities must work together effectively to reach out to those Māori children who do not participate in kōhanga reo, or in early childhood education at all.
“As part of the Government’s Better Public Services Plan we aim to have 98 per cent of all school entrants having participated in early childhood education by 2016,” says Ms Parata.
“We are investing $47.9 million over the next four years in equity funding in ECE services that support priority learners and communities. A further $19.1 million of operating funding over the next four years has been set aside to support Māori medium ECE services.
“We have an education system that is among the best in the world. Four out of five kids are successfully getting the qualifications they need from school and we must celebrate their success and the professionals in our system who make that possible every day. But our Government’s education plan is about getting five out of five.’’