Patient little kura kaupapa gets best news

By Taroi Black

Te Wharekura o Manurewa is celebrating today.

The little kura kaupapa (Aho Matua) has been waiting for nearly 20 years to get a proper home of its own.

Its students operate from temporary relocatable classrooms at the back of the Manurewa Marae.

But, while its principal Mahia Nathan sees being on the marae as a positive, the kura kaupapa would still like its own proper buildings and site.

Currently, when students do chemistry lessons, they do lab work outside on the top of recycling and rubbish bins.

And its primary school - Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Manurewa - is on a different site in Clendon Park.

In 2019 the Ministry of Education promised new buildings, including that science lab, by 2021. But Covid-19 hit.

New campus

Finally today the schools got some good news from visiting Maori cabinet ministers.

Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis revealed the government would spend an extra $18.9 million on Te Pūtahi Māori o Manurewa, a campus that will house both Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Manurewa and Te Wharekura o Manurewa. This is on top of the $24 million announced by the previous government.

“Schools teaching in Reo Māori tend to be smaller, or in more rural communities. In the past, they have often missed out on funding to bigger schools in city centres who are also facing rapid growth,” Davis said.

The government is making a $91 million investment, made up of $77 million in new capital and $14 million in associated operating funding, for Māori medium school property.

Funding would ensure more ākonga can access quality classrooms and learning facilities, he said.

“This funding will allow more Māori ākonga to learn in Te Reo Māori - and not just learn in immersion but also learn in safe, dry, comfortable classrooms, which will lead to better learning outcomes,” Davis said.

More students

He said the number of school-aged Māori students learning or wanting to learn in Māori provision across rohe and regions was growing.

“Kura and Māori medium schools are a vital part of the education system and are delivering strong results for ākonga, so meeting this growth is essential,” Davis said

Today’s announcement provides:

$18.9 million for Te Pūtahi Māori o Manurewa, a campus that will house both Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Manurewa and Te Wharekura o Manurewa. This is on top of $24 million announced by the previous government.

A further $11.6 million for Manukura, a special character school in Palmerston North. This is on top of $20 million announced in 2018, and will deliver an additional 100 student places, leaving the school with a  capacity of 300 students.

$17.1 million for Te Kura Kaupapa Māori Te Wananga Whare Tapere o Takitimu. The school was allocated $12.7 million by the previous government but this funding will increase the school’s capacity by a further 120 student places.

$29.4 million for roll growth classrooms at existing Māori medium schools, delivering 550 extra student places.