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Government Invests In The Next Generation Of Māori Leaders

Investing in Māori boarding schools will help grow New Zealand’s future leaders, Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson announced today.

Budget 2021 invested $20 million over two years to build the next generation of Māori leaders to enable the four remaining Māori boarding schools - Hukarere College, St Joseph’s Māori Girls’ College, Te Aute College and Hato Pāora - to address significant declining property issues and maintain their operations.

“This Government believes in the unique role Māori boarding schools play in helping to shape and develop rangatahi,” Willie Jackson said.

“The rangatahi who attend these schools live and breathe te reo Māori me ona tikanga and develop a sense of whanaungatanga that can only be achieved inside these institutions,” Willie Jackson said.

Willie Jackson was joined by his fellow Māori ministers Meka Whaitiri, Minister for Whānau Ora Peeni Henare and Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti Kelvin Davis at a post-Budget breakfast held at Napier War Memorial Centre.

Meka Whaitiri said today’s announcement was one part of over a $1 billion Budget package for Māori and that she was proud of the work the Government was doing to elevate Māori aspirations in housing, health, employment and education.

“Successive governments have given up on Māori boarding schools, but this Government believes in the unique role they play, not just in educating rangatahi, but instilling Māori values in the next generation of leaders,” Meka Whaitiri said.

Māori Ministers used their time in Hastings to talk about Budget 2021, as well as investment in increasing the number of Māori statues across Aotearoa.

Ensuring there is a greater national understanding of Aotearoa’s unique Māori culture, leadership and history is the driver behind the $1 million set aside in Budget 2021 for this initiative.

“There is an overdue need to increase public recognition and acknowledgement of the contribution Māori leadership has made to advancing Māoridom,” Kelvin Davis said.

The initiative will acknowledge significant Māori leaders or historical events through the construction of statues or symbols in their honour and will grow Māori language, heritage and identity.

“We have done this before and we are excited to do it again. In February 2020, we worked with the late Dame Whina Cooper’s whānau and Waipuna Marae to build a memorial statue of the Dame acknowledging the great land march to Parliament in 1975,” Peeni Henare said.

“Māori across the country will now have the same opportunity to acknowledge their leaders, their history, or events as we have done in the North,” Peeni Henare said.

Willie Jackson said Budget 2021 showed the Government’s commitment to lifting all New Zealanders and showed a road to a Covid-19 economic recovery.

“I think this is a Government that has shown, and is showing, we are putting some of the frameworks in place to secure our economic recovery,” Willie Jackson said.

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