Aspire Scholarship—Māori Boarding School Students

Published: Fri 23 Oct 2009 11:51 AM
11. Aspire Scholarship—Māori Boarding School Students
11. TE URUROA FLAVELL (Māori Party—Waiariki) to the Associate Minister of Education: Kua whakawhiwhia anōtia ki tetahi tauira Māori e kuraina ana i ngā kura nōhanga Māori he karahipi Aspire; ki te kore, he aha ai?
[Has any Māori student who attends a Māori boarding school received an Aspire Scholarship; if not, why not?]
Hon HEATHER ROY (Associate Minister of Education) : No Aspire Scholarships have been allocated yet. The first round of applications for the 2010 academic year closed on 14 October, with a ballot to select recipients scheduled for 30 October. A second ballot will be held on 4 November. To date, 350 applications have been received, including some on behalf of Māori children, to allow students from low-income houses to have more choice of school by attending an independent school.
Te Ururoa Flavell: He aha tāna mō ngā tauira Māori e ngākaunui ana ki te uru atu ki ngā kura nōhanga Māori ēngari e kore e taea nā te mea, kua pau te pūtea o te karahipi Māpihi Poutama kātahi, kua aukatihia hoki te karahipi Aspire ki a rātou, ā, e ai ki tā te Hautū Kahurangi o Aotearoa, "most Māori students are beneficiaries of an iwi or hapū trust and thus appear to be excluded from the scholarship.”?
[An interpretation in English was given to the House.]
[What choice has she offered Māori students who aspire to attend Māori boarding schools but cannot attend because Mapihi Pounamu Scholarship funding is inadequate and Aspire scholarships are not offered for Māori boarding schools, and, according to the Tertiary Education Union, “most Māori students are beneficiaries of an iwi or hapū trust and thus appear to be excluded from the scholarship.”?]
Hon HEATHER ROY: I advise those wishing to apply for a scholarship that they should seek advice from the Ministry of Education, not from the union. But students are eligible for Aspire Scholarships if they are from households that have an annual income of $65,000 or less and a net worth of $150,000 or less. Students then take their scholarship to enrol at the independent school of their choice. As currently no Māori boarding schools are independent schools, they are not an option at this time. However, the two independent Māori day schools are able to accept Aspire Scholarships, and Māori students can apply for scholarships to attend any other independent school. A number of boarding bursaries are also available to students. If students win a boarding bursary and an Aspire Scholarship, then they would indeed be able to attend a boarding school if it was independent.
Te Ururoa Flavell: He aha ngā whakaaro o te Minita mō te whakapaunga o te tekau mā rima mano taara ki te tuku i te tauira kotahi ki te kura whai rawa ahakoa tokorua ngā tauira ka uru ki ngā kura nōhanga Māori mō taua tekau mā rima mano taara?
[An interpretation in English was given to the House.]
[Does the Minister believe that one student receiving a $15,000 scholarship to attend an elite private school is a better use of the education dollar than two students receiving scholarships to attend Māori boarding schools, the average fees of which are $7,500 per year?]
Hon HEATHER ROY: I am not in a position to say which schools are better. Students have the ability to apply for an Aspire Scholarship and then, should they be awarded one, take it to an independent school of their choice. The intention of these scholarships is to widen the choice for students, and they have been targeted specifically at children from low-income houses to allow them a choice that they otherwise would not have.

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