MEDIA RELEASE 19 May 2016
The Māori Party will oppose Chris Hipkins’ private members’ bill which seeks to abolish Kura Hourua/Partnership Schools, when it comes before Parliament this year.
Māori Party Co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell says many of the existing Partnership Schools are Māori-led or have a large proportion of Māori students who achieve more than they would in a state-led school. If Chris Hipkins’ bill called the Education (Charter Schools Abolition) Amendment Bill were to pass, more than 470 Māori students would be forced to go to other schools.
“The Kura Hourua are delivering strong NCEA results despite working with students that have been previously underserved by the state system,” he says.
Māori Party Co-leader Marama Fox says, “We agree with whānau, iwi and Māori leaders that the Government should expand this initiative to allow more Māori students to succeed. We support in particular the importance of high-quality teaching, high educational achievement and strong supportive partnerships with iwi and communities.”
“Existing Kura Hourua are developing innovative solutions to match local needs, while meeting high standards. The first independent evaluation of the Kura Hourua policy done by Martin Jenkins shows early evidence that the approach is working,” she says.
“Māori communities are defining the parameters of what success looks like for their students. Reconnecting Māori students with an ethos of leadership and pride, demonstrated by their tupuna who served in the 28th Māori Battalion is one such kaupapa that offers students of Te Kura Hourua o Whangarei Terenga Paraoa opportunities that extend well beyond the conventional curriculum,” she says.
Mr Flavell says: “We’ve seen the benefits of Kura Hourua and other educational providers that put the needs of Māori students at the heart of everything that they do.”
“We believe Kura Hourua have an important role in providing alternative choices for students and we look forward to seeing them grow and flourish,” says Mrs Fox.