Two Northland iwi will be working closely with at-risk children and youth to improve education outcomes to ensure no young person is left behind in the education system.

Ngatiwai Education, a division of the Ngatiwai Trust Board (NTB), and Te Runanga a iwi o Ngapuhi will work alongside the Ministry of Education in a new initiative which aims to ensure more young Maori get qualifications.

NTB acting chief executive Angeline Waetford said the initiative was necessary to ensure tamariki and taitamariki (youth) were not left behind.

"Iwi, hapu and marae have an important contribution to make in the learning and achievement goals of our tamariki.


"We want to do our bit to help create an environment for our tamariki to thrive and contribute to their whanau, add value to their iwi and to the economy in Te Tai Tokerau," she said.

Ms Waetford said iwi were ideally placed to work alongside tamariki, their parents, schools, whanau and marae.

"The main goals we have under this initiative are about increasing participation in early childhood education, ensuring our tamariki are achieving National Standards, and helping all our tamariki achieve NCEA Level 2, as a minimum," she said.

Ms Waetford said Ngatiwai Education had educationalists who supported students on an "as needed" basis.

She said the mentors spent a lot of time with students.

She said they also provided tutorial sessions and ran summer school and catch-up programmes for tamariki who needed help in numeracy and literacy.

"We see the mentoring programme making an impact first-hand as our mentors work with students to build their strengths and find innovative ways to get them on the right path, engaged in learning.

"Every child is valued and we work through one challenge at a time - one child at a time."

Ngapuhi Runanga acting chief executive Erena Kara said the runanga would be delivering Whanau Education Action Plans, which identified the needs of the learner and the support whanau would commit to helping them achieve their education goals.

She said they would be working with a total of 90 Maori students.

"Our children are important. Their positive development and educational achievement is important. Growing strong, confident and educated leaders and leadership is important.

"Through this programme, we hope to connect key education support agencies with these whanau and provide the additional support, advice and guidance to help them achieve their own dreams and aspirations."

A Treasury report showed 15- to 24-year-olds in the Far North, Kawerau, Opotiki and Wairoa were more likely to fail at school, use mental health services, become long-term welfare beneficiaries or go to prison than their counterparts elsewhere.