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When Dreams Become Reality

WHEN DREAMS BECOME REALITY

Dreams became a reality tonight as the philosophy of Te Aho Matua was legislated for as an amendment to the Education Act.

"My colleagues and I who supported this piece of legislation can stand tall," Maori Affairs Minister, Hon Tau Henare, said. "This is a salute to the grassroots people who've sweat blood and tears for years to get this concept recognised. This does that.

"The people at the coalface running nga kura kaupapa wanted this enshrined. Their representatives came to see me and my colleagues and said: can you do this? Of course we can, but there's been a play by a group of political upstarts to block its passage.

"Representatives of kura kaupapa asked for this. They've asked consecutive governments for years, who've only managed to put the issue in the too hard basket.

"Maori members of parliament have a job to do now, not if/or when there's a change of government. That's what members on this side of the House have proceeded to do since taking office.

"For a party like Labour, whose desperately trying to find its Maori lineage again, to try and usurp the intent of this amendment by proposing a red herring like a treaty clause in the Education Act is hard to swallow when if they're so concerned about treaty clauses all of a sudden, they should've thought about it when they had the opportunity to do something about it.

"I'll leave it to the electorate to decide whether what we've done is right or wrong, and the Labour Party won't need an interpreter for the result.

"Those who supported the legislation have humbly done the job they were asked to do. To the mums, dads, tamariki, nannies and koro who've beavered away over the years to make this a reality I say: dream no longer. You are somebody," said Mr Henare.

ENDS

TE AHO MATUA BILL

What is this all about?

* The "Te Aho Matua Bill" is basically about the protection of intellectual property and the branding of Kura Kaupapa Mäori (KKM). * The current definition of KKM (refer section 155 of the Education Act 1989) is any school that uses Mäori language as the main means of educational instruction. The original Bill seeks to extend the definition to include the Te Aho Matua philosophy so that all KKM would need to operate according to this.

* In simple terms, Te Aho Matua is a Charter or Creed that the National Association of KKM (the Runanganui o nga KKM) have developed. Te Aho Matua is their creed that they wish to enshrine in law and link to the definition of the term KKM. Ultimately, they are seeking to brand all KKM as schools that use the Mäori language and operate according to the charter - Te Aho Matua.

* Those that oppose this (there were 11 submissions that objected to the Select Committee) understand that once the term KKM becomes linked to the charter, the term KKM is no longer one that can be used by any group or school. They see this as restrictive. They fear that the National Association may interpret the Te Aho Matua charter in a way that may be contrary to the wishes of other Mäori groups like iwi, hapu or even urban Mäori. They see such regulation as an unnecessary impediment or fetter to their own development.

* The National Association disagree. They see the Te Aho Matua charter as a necessary part and parcel of the KKM brand; the philosophy and values statement defines KKM; it captures the essence of this form of schooling. The National Association see the charter as critical to ensuring and maintaining quality in KKM.

* The Original Bill was permissive. While it restricted the use of the term KKM, it also allowed schools that do not wish to follow the Te Aho Matua charter to be established, but not using the term KKM. It also provided a grandparenting clause for existing KKM that do not support Te Aho Matua but wish to retain the name.

* The MASC report however recommends that the definition of KKM incorporate both school types - those that use Te Aho Matua and those that do not.

* There are other issues, such as who should be the caretakers of Te Aho Matua, but the core issue is whether or not the term KKM should be restricted to those that follow the Te Aho Matua Charter.

Background

* Kura Kaupapa Mäori are Mäori philosophy and language schools.

* The term Kura Kaupapa Mäori (KKM) means a school that is based on Kaupapa Mäori, or Mäori philosophy and language.

* Section 155 of the Education Act 1989, which formally establishes KKM, only recognises the Mäori language dimension of such schools. Section 155 of the current Act makes no mention whatsoever of the special creed or charter that underpins these schools.

* Since 1990, the founders of KKM, principally the Hoani Waititi kura and Mäori education leaders like Peter Sharples and Kathy Dewes, have been seeking to include in legislation a reference to the specific Mäori philosophy that underpins KKM.

* Te Aho Matua is the specific creed or charter that has been developed by the founders of KKM. The principal author of Te Aho Matua is Katerina Mataira. It has been and endorsed by the National Association of KKM (Te Runanganui o Ngä KKM).

* The National Association represents about 90% of all existing KKM. The term Te Aho Matua is a traditional one. However, used in the context of KKM, it refers specifically to the creed or charter that underpins the special values, aims and objectives of KKM.

Objections

* Those that oppose this see such regulation as an unnecessary impediment or fetter to their own development. There were 11 submissions that opposed the Bill. Once the term KKM becomes linked to the charter, the term KKM can only be used those groups or school that operate according to Te Aho Matua. They see this as restrictive. They fear that the National Association may interpret the Te Aho Matua charter in a way that may be contrary to the wishes of other Mäori groups like iwi, hapu or even urban Mäori.

The View of the National Association/Te Runanganui o Ngä KKM

The National Association see the Te Aho Matua charter as a necessary part and parcel of the KKM brand; the philosophy and values statement defines KKM; it captures the essence of this form of schooling. The National Association see the charter as critical to ensuring and maintaining quality in KKM.


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