A secondary school for Maori girls will be closed after 110 years because of concerns about its debt and governance.

Education Minister Hekia Parata confirmed this morning that Turakina Maori Girls College in Marton, 40km north-west of Palmerston North, would close in January.

Ms Parata said there was "a great deal of goodwill" towards the Decile 3, state-integrated Presbyterian boarding school and she was saddened to have to close it down.

"However, the financial information provided ... doesn't give me confidence that the proprietor is able to clear its debt and become financially viable," she said.


The school's roll had fallen from 152 in 2003 to 47 in 2015, Ms Parata said.

Its proprietor, the Turakina Maori Girls' College Trust Board, first wrote to the minister in 2012 when it ran into financial trouble. It had "significant operating deficits" in relation to its physical assets and the operation of its hostel, and the deficits were being funded from diminishing reserves.

The Education Ministry appointed a limited statutory manager in December 2012 to take over its curriculum, employment and finances.

The school continued to operate but further financial concerns led to consideration of its closure earlier this year.

"While I know that my decision will not be what many in the wider school community would have wanted to hear, it should not come as a surprise," Ms Parata said.

"The struggles have been ongoing for some time. This announcement will give whanau certainty to plan for next year."

The Education Ministry would now begin working with the remaining students to find them schools for next year.