Māori Learners Will Get Lift From Today’s Announcement
The Minister of Education’s announcement to fund a full time coordinator and provide ongoing funding to support an
initiative for lifting Māori children’s learning was met with enthusiastic applause at the Te Akatea Māori Principals’
The initiative, the Māori Achievement Collaboratives, are the result of school principals from both Te Akatea and NZPF
working together with Ministry officials to find a better way to approach learning for Māori.
‘The answer lies in creating a school culture that equally respects a Māori and Pākehā world view,’ said Robert Clark,
President of Te Akatea. ‘That means reaching out to iwi and to whanau and making the school a place where our Māori
parents belong and are welcome to contribute rather than school being a foreign place where they feel no sense of
ownership,’ he said.
‘The problem we faced as leaders of schools was in fully appreciating the Māori world view,’ said Denise Torrey,
President of NZPF. ‘Most Māori children are in mainstream schools and most have Pākehā principals who struggle to
understand how to create truly bicultural school environments’, she said. ‘What our principals needed was the
opportunity to understand the elements of biculturalism they were lacking and this requires collaborative groups working
together with a facilitator who has the knowledge and skills to bring that understanding to the group,’ she said.
‘The Minister’s commitment to funding this initiative now means that principals across the country will have the
opportunity to address learning for Māori children in a way that is meaningful for their particular context, so that
tamariki everywhere can truly enjoy success as Maori,’ said Clark.