Kelvin Davis: Racism in schools must stop

By Rukuwai Tipene-Allen

The Associate Minister of Education focused on Māori education is committed to stamping out racism within the education system.

Kelvin Davis announced today that six locations had been selected to begin to take on a kaupapa called Te Hurihanganui. 

"This will be a transformational system shift for education because it seeks shifts across all four key levers of a successful education system: whānau, iwi and community; leadership and governance; teaching and learning; and curriculum," the associate minister said.

Some $42 million has been allocated from the 2019 Budget to ensure solutions and actions are driven by communities over three years. Funding has not been allocated on a community basis but there is funding available to support community ideas and actions.

'Devolve power' instead

Not everyone, however, is convinced. Hayley Koroi (Te Rarawa, Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Kahu) from Te Korowai Aroha o Aotearoa, which has expertise in Indigenous learning and training, says it's going to take more than a few million dollars to fix a broken system. Koroi, who works with students to learn and grow in uniquely Māori ways, says the education system is stuck and needs to devolve power and allow room for Māori to lead their own way. 

The kaupapa requires schools to work alongside iwi. After hui with local iwi Ngāti Toa it was decided that Tawa and Porirua would be the place to kick off the ambitious project. 

The local participating schools are Mana College (secondary);  Tawa College (secondary); Tawa Intermediate (intermediate);  Titahi Bay North School (primary);  Ngāti Toa School (primary);  Te Puna Reo o Ngāti Toa (early learning service – puna reo);  Katoa Kindergarten (early learning service); and Brian Webb Kindergarten (early learning service).