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Moerewa Deserves Better says Shortland

Moerewa Deserves Better says Shortland

Waihoroi Shortland, Candidate for Te Tai Tokerau
Sunday 20 November 2011

Maori Party candidate for Te Tai Tokerau, Waihoroi Shortland, is astonished at the situation which has arisen for Moerewa School in Northland.

“The facts speak for themselves" said Shortland. “This is a school which has been successfully operating a satellite class over the last three years, and which has been achieving outstanding NCEA results".
"In fact the Principals Federation recently announced that the 100% Maori student cohort achieving pass rates in NCEA levels one, two and three that are all higher than the national pass rates across the country, makes this school exceptional – in that it has “succeeded beyond all expectations.

“Moerewa is in the special position of being led by one of New Zealand’s top teachers, Keri Milne-Ihimaera. Her guidance and expertise in helping to support Maori Principals in Northland is well known. She has demonstrable credibility that comes from successful outcomes. In sum, she is one of our finest educators in the North".

“What they have done at Moerewa is also a tribute to the commitment and the passion of their community, in getting in behind the senior satellite class. That commitment showed through again on Wednesday night when whanau connected to the school decided to contest the decision made by the Education Minister over a month ago, to close the unit down.

“Last Thursday Keri and I both made a commitment, that if she and the school continued to demonstrate they were successfully delivering education outcomes to all our mokopuna, then I would fight with her, and fight together with the community to ensure the Minister reconsidered and reversed the decision".

“This is a tragic case of Moerewa slipping through the cracks and I am determined that their case must be taken up at the highest level".
"It would appear that with Northland MP John Carter having vacated his seat in June (to take up the High Commissioner role in Rarotonga) and Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira distracted by the challenge of setting up the Mana Party, that this community has suffered, and it’s simply not good enough".

“I have presented the facts to co-leaders Pita Sharples and Tariana Turia, and in turn they have made the commitment to raise this matter as a priority with the Prime Minister".

“Moerewa doesn’t need a lot of noise; and it sure doesn’t need to be neglected. Moerewa and schools like it need to be confident that when they deliver excellence and high achievement their issues will be taken up at the highest level. The Maori Party will do that and as the Member of Parliament for Te Tai Tokerau I will certainly not let this issue slip under the radar ever".

Background Information

•Keri Milne-Ihimaera is the President of Aka Tokerau (Northland Maori Principals Association); Vice President of the Te Tai Tokerau Principals Association, and a mentor with the First Time Principals’ Programme.

•The Maori Party is campaigning on an educational approach described as 'täpapa Mätauranga'. That is, we expect excellence and achievement for all students. We promote the concept of self-managing schools which focus on whanau achievement and success.


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