$9.5mil teachers package will support more Māori teachers - Kelvin Davis

By Talisa Kupenga

Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis says the Government's immediate $9.5 million teacher supply package will support more te reo Māori and Māori medium teachers into classrooms from next year.

Kelvin Davis says the teachers package will help strengthen te reo Māori in schools.

"This is a big deal. If students want to teach Māori then we want to make sure they have teachers who can teach them to do that."

The package will provide funding to the Teacher Education Refresh programme, expand intake at the Teach First NZ programme as well as nationally extend the Voluntary Bonding Scheme to include Te Reo Māori teachers and all Māori-medium teachers.

Davis says "The previous government did not provide funding to help build Māori teacher numbers."

National Party Education spokesperson Nikki Kaye says  "if you stand back and look at the package several of the things in there are being re-labelled from what the previous government confirmed."

Davis says this funding is a stepping stone to Labour's 2025 vision of te reo Māori being universally available in schools.

"Last November there were 188 schools advertising for Māori teachers, that there shows how widespread the demand is for Māori teachers."

The package also aims to improve access for teachers from the UK, Ireland, Canada, South Africa and Fiji to work in NZ.