Students in the Ngati Whakaue rohe are consistently outstripping national figures in Maori education engagement and achievement, new data has revealed.
The Ministry of Education has released its latest Iwi Profiles, summarising achievement, school leaver destinations and qualifications, and participation rates broken down by iwi.
The profiles include statistics for students in the iwi's rohe, or region, as well as for students which affiliate with an iwi around New Zealand.
For students in the Ngati Whakaue area, both iwi-affiliated and not, the numbers are positive with 85.7 per cent of Maori in the area obtaining NCEA Level 2 or above by age 18. This compares with 74.3 per cent of Maori in New Zealand.
Mercia Yates, director of engagement at Nga Pumanawa e Waru, said the profiles were a great resource but the information was only representative of those who knew their iwi or hapu affiliations.
She said there was still a drop in school engagement and the retention of learners by Year 11 and there were a lot of factors which contributed to this.
Whanau engagement and learning expectations often had an effect, she said.
"When whanau are engaged and involved in their children's learning, improved results in their achievement at school is evident."
Yates said the profiles were particularly important in Rotorua as it was estimated about 54 per cent of Rotorua students were Maori and the majority attended mainstream schools.
There are more than 1600 Ngati Whakaue affiliated students in the iwi's rohe, and 53,512 students in the whole of the Bay of Plenty.
Click Here to see the Ngati Whakaue iwi profile.
Monty Morrison, the chairman of the Ngati Whakaue Education Endowment Trust's education subcommittee, said the numbers were encouraging but there was always room for improvement.
"We know there's been a gradual increase in achievement of Ngati Whakaue and I know from around the country the endowment board is really an entity of envy. We have the ability to support our students right through school," Morrison said.
"The board's strategy plan prioritises Ngati Whakaue Iho ake, the development of Ngati Whakaue, for Ngati Whakaue, by Ngati Whakaue.
"The funding can't sustain everybody so we target it so as students leave school they are confident about who they are as Ngati Whakaue."
The board invests roughly $500,000 into numeracy and literacy in schools a year and also helps students with grants, apprenticeships and more.
Of Maori in the Tuhourangi rohe, 86.2 per cent have at least NCEA level 2. In Ngati Pikiao that number is 85.7 per cent and in Ngati Whakaue it's 78.7 per cent.
Looking at school leaver destinations, 51.4 per cent of Maori in the Tuhourangi rohe pursued higher education, compared with 75 per cent of Ngati Pikiao and 52.6 of Ngati Whakaue.
Associate education minister Kelvin Davis has expressed a desire to make improvements to the information in the profiles by consulting with iwi and hapu on what they would like to see included.
"The data in the Iwi Profiles provides a high-level overview of achievement and I know some iwi find it useful for their education planning," Davis said.
"I want to produce something which shows what achievement looks like from a Maori perspective, not what the Crown sees as Maori success."
Yates said she was eager to be involved in that discussion.
"Although these profiles identify iwi-affiliated learners, I would like to see that iwi contribution is also included," she said.
"This would demonstrate the significant amount of iwi funding and support that is provided, in addition to our local schools. This impact is significant so it should be recognised."
The government plans to make improvements to the Iwi Profiles visible from next year.