$14.9m boost for boarding schools

By Will Trafford

Māori boarding schools are receiving a $14.9 Million cash injection to upgrade facilities and shore up earthquake-prone buildings.

St Joseph Māori Girls’ College, Hato Pāora College, Te Aute College and Hukarere Girls’ College will receive some of the pūtea set aside in the government’s 2021 budget.

“These kura are iconic Māori institutions that have produced eminent Māori leaders such as Tā Apirana Ngāta, Tā Peter Te Rangi Hīroa Buck and Dame Whina Cooper, and countless other leaders in our communities and iwi," Māori Development Minister Willie Jackson said.

Jackson said the money was overdue; St Joseph Māori Girls’, which will receive $6.2 million, has closed areas of the school including the chapel, due to the risks posed by earthquakes.

Hato Pāora College, which receives $2.7 million, will have its first classroom upgrades in 17 years; its living quarters haven’t been upgraded since the 1990s.

Te Aute College and Hukarere Girls’ College will get $5 million and $981,300 respectively.

The four schools have been "long-standing, staunch advocates of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori, kapa haka, and other aspects of te ao Māori," Jackson said.

“Upgrading the critical facilities for these kura is crucial to ensuring they can continue to nurture rangatahi Māori leaders and provide quality education," he said.

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