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Move hurts state providers who can’t even afford plastic kayaks, say teachers.
A trust that owns two charter schools has bought its students a $100,000 waka to help with their learning.
He Puna Marama, which received $6 million of government funding for its two Whangarei schools over two years, but also gets revenue from elsewhere, says it bought the 22-person, 14m carved kauri waka with money specially "put aside" for the purpose.
It will be used mainly in the trust's primary school, Te Kapehu Whetu, which opened this year, for health and fitness studies, and science, including navigation.
Chief executive of He Puna Marama, Raewyn Tipene, said she was comfortable with the purchase despite criticism.
The secondary school, Terenga Paraoa, received $1,008,510 in base funding this year, plus a $379,318 student grant. That works out at almost $20,000 per student. Ministry figures show at state secondary schools students get on average $7600 per student per year.
Post Primary Teachers' Association president Angela Roberts said she found the waka purchase "frustrating".
"It breaks my heart, because I know for a fact there are outdoor education teachers in state schools around the country trying to motivate the same kids as He Puna Marama are and they don't even have the money to buy a couple of plastic kayaks," she said. "That's what hurts.