Turakina Māori Girls' College has completed their second week of the consultation process and the Board has found no support for the Ministry proposal to close the school.
The Board is also consulting on the proposal that “Turakina Māori Girls College is keen to strengthen relationships with the broader community to provide for sustainable growth and development”.
So far, many hui with staff, pupils, the Old Girls' Association, community leaders, parents of past and present students, tangata whenua and other organisations have been conducted. In addition, the Minister met with members of the Board of Trustees, Board of Proprietors and the Old Girls' Association.
The Minister's main concern is that the proprietor's financial position means that it is no longer able to meet its obligations which eventuated in a rundown in the quality of safety and comfort in the hostel and maintenance on the buildings.
Another issue is to ensure that the school's governance, management and leadership will ensure students at the school will receive quality education and that Turakina will continue to produce strong Māori leaders.
According to a statement issued by the Board of Trustees, the goal is to:
strengthen their governance role and taking responsibility to ensure that:
• Turakina is a safe place for our wahine
• Turakina wāhine achieve their potential, learn leadership, are confident to participate fully in today’s world and are strong in their identity as tangata whenua
• Turakina has relationships that will ensure a sustainable future
We know that with those guarantees, we will have the students to carry on the proud achievements of Turakina over the past 110 years. Our immediate aim is to enrol as many students as we can by Labour Weekend, Monday 26 October 2015.
Some of the results of our consultation to date include:
• The Mayor has offered to assist with governance.
• Ngāti Apa is keen to contribute in any way they can.
• The Old Girls’ Association is working hard to enrol students for 2016.
• CYFs affirming the value Turakina gives their students and committing to recruit girls.
• Parents telling their stories about what Turakina has done for their daughters/mokopuna.
The priorities they are working on to ensure we are viable include:
• improving management and leadership
• our working relationship with the BoP
• practices that will improve student performance and staff development
• opening up relationships in the community and nationally
• improving communication with our whānau whānui
Our consultation principles are:
• The community should have a significant say in decisions that affect their lives
• Consultation includes the promise that your contribution will influence the decisions
• Consultation promotes sustainable decisions by recognising and promoting the rights and interests of all participants
• Consultation provides participants with the information they need to participate in a meaningful way
The main aim of the report to the Minister on September 11 is to assure her that the school has the "ability to provide for the sustainability of Turakina".