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Turakina Māori Girls’ College Consultation: Panui Two

Turakina Māori Girls’ College Consultation: Panui Two

Kia ora koutou katoa.

We have completed the second week of the consultation process and there is a lot of interest in Turakina. The Board has found no support for the Ministry proposal to close the school and is consulting on the proposal that:

“Turakina Maori Girls College is keen to strengthen relationships with the broader community to provide for sustainable growth and development.”

To date there have been hui with staff, pupils, the Old Girls’ Association, a number of community leaders, parents of students past and present, Tangata Whenua and organisations that have an interest in Turakina. In addition, the Minister met with members of the Board of Trustees, Board of Proprietors and our Old Girls’ Association.

The main concern for the Minister is that the Proprietors financial position means that it is no longer able to meet its obligations. This has resulted in a run down in the quality of safety and comfort in the hostel and remedial repairs and maintenance on the buildings. The Proprietors have told the Board that they have a plan to address those issues. Our Board has very little ability to address this issue.

Another issue is to ensure that the school’s governance, management and leadership will ensure students at Turakina will receive quality education and Turakina will continue to develop strong Maori leaders. All of the pou are in place for that to happen and the Board’s plan is to harness our talents and develop relationships to make it happen. We rely on your views and support to get it right.

The BoT is putting a lot of energy into strengthening our governance role and taking responsibility for ensuring:

• Turakina is a safe place for our wahine.

• Turakina wahine achieve their potential, learn leadership, are confident to participate fully in today’s world and are strong in their identity as Tangata Whenua.

• Turakina has relationships that will ensure a sustainable future.

We know that with those guarantees, we will have the students to carry on the proud achievements of Turakina over the past 110 years. Our immediate aim is to enrol as many students as we can by Labour weekend, Monday 26 October 2015.

Some of the results of our consultation to date include:

• The Mayor has offered to assist with governance.

• Ngati Apa is keen to contribute in any way they can.

• The Old Girls’ Association is working hard to enrol students for 2016.

• CYFs affirming the value Turakina gives their students and committing to recruit girls.

• Parents telling their stories about what Turakina has done for their daughters/mokpuna.

The priorities we are working on to ensure we are viable include:

• improving management and leadership

• our working relationship with the BoP

• practices that will improve student performance and staff development

• opening up relationships in the community and nationally

• improving communication with our whanau whanui

Our consultation principles are:

• The community should have a significant say in decisions that affect their lives.

• Consultation includes the promise that your contribution will influence the decisions.

• Consultation promotes sustainable decisions by recognising and promoting the rights and interests of all participants.

• Consultation provides participants with the information they need to participate in a meaningful way.

Our approach is to provide individuals/groups with information and then enter into dialogue about the issues that confront us.

Our consultation process will help us bring everyone together to achieve a common mission and establish the governance and management to make it work. It will help us articulate what is special about Turakina and what we all are prepared to do to ensure we are successful and sustainable.

We have identified some of the things we need to do to ensure that Turakina is the right place for our wahine. We take full responsibility for ensuring our wahine receive the best education possible and are safe and comfortable here. We are meeting with the Proprietors on Saturday (5 September) to discuss how we will work together to make the necessary changes.

The main aim of our report to the Minister on 11 September is to assure her we have the ability to provide for the sustainability of Turakina.

If you wish to participate in the consultation process, you can contact our independent facilitator TeHuia Bill Hamilton by email (kaiinthecity@xtra.co.nz)

ENDS

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