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ASB: Māori and Pasifika Education Initiative

ASB: Māori and Pasifika Education Initiative

ASB Community Trust has announced the seven projects that will be funded under its Māori and Pasifika Education Initiative.

The projects will be fully funded by the Trust for the next five years as part of its commitment to find and support community initiatives that will promote Māori and Pasifika educational excellence.

In announcing the funding, CEO Jennifer Gill said the Trust set out three years ago to address the issue of the underachievement among Māori and Pasifika children in schools. In doing so, it called on the community to come up with solutions.

“This is an ambitious and uncharted philanthropic journey in search of innovative proposals to address the serious problem of educational underachievement,” she said. “The aim is to lift Māori and Pasifika educational outcomes by a significant percentage.”

The Trust began by forming Māori and Pasifika reference groups, made up of educationalist and community leaders, to guide the process. Then, in January 2008, it went to the community and asked for ideas and proposals. From the short-list of proposals, seven projects were eventually chosen.

“Lively presentations by short-listed applicants communicated that, if given the opportunity and resources, Māori and Pasifika communities will generate and lead their own solutions,” Ms Gill said. “Their resounding message was ‘we think we can take charge of this problem and turn things around for our people – but we need to do it our way’.”

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Ms Gill said keeping a long-term view and committing funding up front created a sense of possibility when the reference groups met.

“Such ambition invigorated the commitment of Māori and Pasifika contributors, who reached for a gold standard in decision-making.”

The Trust will continue to work with the seven groups and give them whatever support they need to succeed.

“Hard facts and academic research prove beyond doubt that educational achievement is critical for the wellbeing and prosperity of Māori and Pacific Island communities, as well as our nation,” Ms Gill said.

“It is in New Zealand’s long-term social, cultural and economic interest to address this problem. Failing to do so could condemn future generations of Māori and Pasifika communities to an unskilled underclass, blight economic progress, hinder attempts to strengthen social cohesion and harm New Zealand’s international reputation.”

The seven projects are:

Rise Up Trust, Manukau
Rise Up Trust began as a response to the rising levels of gang violence in South Auckland. The founders believe that education and relationships are the keys to breaking the cycle of poverty. Begun by two Mangere teachers, the Trust has developed a series of unique parenting courses called ‘Building Learning Communities’, with the understanding that 'you cannot change people's actions until they change the way they think'. The Rise Up Trust model, which aligns to the school curriculum, is an inquiry based learning framework that encourages parents and children to be active participants in the learning process.
Contact Rise Up Trust on (09) 267 2820

Ideal Success Trust, Manurewa
The Ideal Success Trust will run Huarahi Tika (the right pathway), which helps Māori children achieve educational success by setting up a motivational programme that will work closely with their whanau. Designed for children aged 10-15 years, the programme also recognises that development of the whanau is critical to the success of the child. Huarahi Tika will implement a range of services that inform, motivate and support Māori children and empower their whanau to prioritise actions and behaviours that result in educational success.
Contact Ideal Success Trust on (09) 2696600.

Sylvia Park School, Mt Wellington
The school is establishing a project co-ordinator position to act as a key link between home and school. This learning partnership will help families understand how their children are performing. It will also challenge the school to look at its own effectiveness in delivering the programmes Māori and Pasifika students need.
Contact Sylvia Park School on (09) 527 6526

The Unitec Graduate Diploma in Not for Profit Management
Scholarships will be offered to encourage students from Pacific Island communities to enrol for the three-year course. The diplomas will help build capacity and leadership within Pasifika early childhood learning centres and will be particularly relevant for the centres’ managers and board members.
Contact Unitec on (09) 815 4321

Leadership Academy of A Company, Whangarei
The leadership academy, which aims to build Māori leadership, is scheduled to open in Whangarei next year. Run by the He Puna Marama Trust, it is aimed at young Māori men at secondary level with academic ability or talent in any field. The academy will develop leadership through an innovative residential programme, customised learning and partnering with local secondary schools.
Contact the leadership academy on (09) 438 8422

Toku Reo Tupuna Trust, Manukau
Toku Reo Tupuna Trust aims to provide education and training programmes to assist people, families and communities of Cook Islands descent to learn and use the Te Reo Kuki Airani language.
Contact Toku Reo Tupuna Trust on (09) 526 2543.

C-Me Mentoring Foundation, Otahuhu
The C-Me Mentoring Foundation will deliver a youth trade training mentoring programme for trade training services. It will link industries, schools, technical institutions and Māori and Pacific students, mentor the students and encourage their families to get involved in the process. The programme was developed by C-Me project manager John Kotoisuva while he was working for Steel Construction New Zealand Limited (SCNZ). The C-Me Mentoring Foundation intends to replicate the successes of the SCNZ apprenticeship programme within other industries.
Contact the C-Me Foundation on (09) 358 5692

About ASB Community Trust

ASB Community Trust decides on grants for groups and projects in Auckland and Northland each month. Using funds from the sale of its shareholding in the Auckland Savings Bank, the Trust has granted almost $700m since being formed in 1988.

Any incorporated or charitable trust in Auckland and Northland can apply for funds, provided they are a not-for-profit organisation.

For more details about applying, visit the Trust’s website:


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