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‘Hoha with the Hot-Air’ ; says Turia

16 May 2013

‘Hoha with the Hot-Air’ ; says Turia – Our whānau deserve better

Maori Party Co-leader, Tariana Turia has rejected the ‘hot-air’ of Hone Harawira in his tirade against Kura Hourua in the House yesterday.

Mrs Turia said “we’re used to Mr Harawira’s insults against the Māori Party – but I really object when the integrity and initiative of whānau, kura and experts the calibre of Dame Iritana Tawhiwhirangi are being maligned by the emotive hyperbole we’ve heard over the last couple of days”.

“Rehashing rhetoric is one thing - listening to the people is quite another. In fact one of the most exciting submissions came from Te Tai Tokerau–under the umbrella of the Ngäti Wai ki Whangaruru Whenua Toopu Trust. Their hapū education group, Karanga Manaia, stated clearly “partnership schools are an opportunity to serve our Māori learners betters – they offer greater hope and opportunities for our parents, community, hapū and iwi”.

“It’s ridiculous to suggest that Māori – like any other New Zealanders – believe ‘one size fits all’. Educators and whānau from kura kaupapa Māori; kura a iwi; bilingual units and mainstream schools have all expressed an interest in the partnership pathway – why should we deny them that right?

Mrs Turia said “I think we need to remember we’re talking about maybe four or five schools – out of 2200 schools. Whānau can already choose from a range of schools, including kura, religious schools, bilingual schools, single-sex schools, private schools, co-educational schools – and kura hourua will be simply another model on offer.”

“We have been fascinated by the interest from Māori in exploring the potential of Kura Hourua. They have said to us if you continue to do what you’ve always done, you’ll never address the educational underachievement that concerns us all.”

“The bottom line is that Kura Hourua will have to deliver against Government priorities just like any other school. The critical factor in all of this is – how will Kura Hourua lift outcomes for Māori students?”

“This is not about the type of educational entity that our whānau and kura are exploring – this is about standing up for their right to enjoy better educational opportunities. One of the early cabinet papers released specifically mentions “Māori, Pasifika, learners from low socio-economic backgrounds and learners with special education needs” as being a priority for Kura Hourua – how could we vote against that”.


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