Minister renews vow to lift Maori education

By Liz Wylie

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Kaumatua John Maihi signing the education MoU on behalf of Te Puna Matauranga o Whanganui with Education Minister Hekia Parata signing on behalf of the crown.
Kaumatua John Maihi signing the education MoU on behalf of Te Puna Matauranga o Whanganui with Education Minister Hekia Parata signing on behalf of the crown.

An accord between Whanganui iwi and government was renewed on Thursday by Education Minister Hekia Parata.

The original memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed 15 years ago when Labour's Trevor Mallard was Minister of Education.

The agreement was instigated to raise Maori education accomplishment.

John Maihi, the board chair for Te Puna Matauranga o Whanganui, reaffirmed the longstanding intent to work closely with the Ministry of Education.

"The renewal of this MoU reminds us about the intent of the original MoU which was signed more than 15 years ago.

"Our aspiration and goals to lift educational achievement and success has not changed." Mr Maihi said.

Mrs Parata said the terms of the MoU fit with the Ministry's intention to lift achievement for Maori students.

Education minister Hekia Parata talking at Whanganui City College. PHOTO/LIZ WYLIE
Education minister Hekia Parata talking at Whanganui City College. PHOTO/LIZ WYLIE


While in the city she celebrated the opening of the new learning hubs at Whanganui City College, which serve the district.

The Express to Success hubs are part of a wider programme of work to lift Maori and Pasifika achievement.

The hubs at Whanganui City College will also serving Cullinane College and Whanganui Girls College, and Raetihi Primary School.

"This is an opportunity for Maori aged 16 to 18 years to get back on track, catch up or get ahead with their NCEA Level 2 qualification," said the minister.

The hubs are designed to involve the whole whanau, and to connect parents with their children's learning.

"We know how important it is for young people to have the support of their whanau.
"So we want mums, dads, younger brothers and sisters, aunties, uncles and grandparents to come along too," said Mrs Parata.

"The hubs also build on the positive relationships that are already in place between local schools and Whanganui iwi.

"They, as well as early childhood education services, kohanga reo and local businesses are already working together to support Maori children to enjoy and achieve in education."

Mrs Parata praised Whanganui City College principal Peter Kaua for his leadership with whanau inclusion and said he was a better student than she was when they attended university together.

Earlier in the day, Mrs Parata attended a hui at the Eulogy Lounge at Wanganui Racecourse where met with principals from the Whanganui region participating in group education initiatives.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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