Patrick Snedden honoured for Māori and Pacific digital education

By Aroha Mane

Chairman of the Manaiakalani Trust Mr Patrick Snedden has been made a Member of the NZ Order of Merit for services to Education and Māori. Engaging Māori and Pacific Island children into the digital technology of the 21st century is one of  Snedden’s top priorities.

Engaging Māori and Pacific Island children into the digital technology of the 21st century is one of Patrick Snedden’s top priorities.

“I visited Pt England school back in 2009. I saw the digital capacity then and I thought if we can develop this in Glen Innes we can develop this anywhere.”

Today the Manaiakalani projects operate in 50 schools nationwide servicing 12,000 students. These schools are showing an increase in NCEA results and exceeding government targets.

Snedden says they couldn’t have done it without whānau, “Parents have been our biggest donors. In Glen Innes the average income is 19,000pa, these parents contribute $3.50 a week over three years, just so their children can succeed. That’s a massive commitment.”

His passion to work with Māori and Pacific Island students stems from his experience and arrest at the second occupation at Bastion Point.

“I’ve seen it when Māori get the chance to exercise their own tino rangatiratanga or self-determination, everybody wins.”

Snedden worked as an economic advisor for Ngāti Whātua ki Ōrākei for 19 years. He was the founding director of Mai FM. He was Chief Crown Negotiator for Muriwhenua and He Toa Takitini Treaty Settlement (2008-13). And also wrote the book “Pākehā and the Treaty too.”

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Photo Credit - Manaiakalani