Is there a future for Māori Boarding Schools?

By Regan Paranihi

Three of the five remaining Māori boarding schools have now competed at this year's He Pouwhenua, He Puaua Secondary Schools National Kapa Haka Competition.

They have used the platform to send the government a powerful message to stop the closures of Māori Boarding Schools.

Hato Tipene closed its doors in 2000 followed by their sister school Kuini Wikitoria in 2001. 

The most recent closure saw Turakina shut down in 2015 and now Hato Petera, based in North Auckland, is on the verge of closure.

This will leave four of the nine schools left to fight for any future they have in today’s society.

Tyrone from Te Aute College says the government needs to put more support into these schools because it is more than just schooling.

“I believe the government should help us.  Māori boarding schools are a special place, you learn to flourish, grow independent, and you end up being independent as a person.  It teaches you a lot, kura Māori kids are missing out and Māori boarding schools are where it’s at.”

Phoenix-Tru Tuhi says Māori boarding schools are a treasure and without them, the core and values of being Māori will be lost with them.

“Māori boarding schools are precious.  Without them, today’s students will miss out on the fundamentals of the Māori worldview.”

You can tell the difference between a student who has attend a Māori boarding school and a student who hasn’t, says Kōkā-Hauwai, a teacher at Hukarere Girls College.

 “The values the students have from these schools and the way they hold themselves are different to those who have never attended a Māori boarding school.“

Hukarere Girls College and Te Aute College both expressed themselves in their performance and have put out a challenge to the government.

To watch their full performance head to Ngā Kapa Haka Kura Tuarua o Aotearoa 2018 on the Māori Television website.