A new Year 7-13 designated character wharekura will be built in Pāpāmoa, Associate Minister of Education Kelvin Davis has announced.
The wharekura will focus on science, mathematics and creative technologies while connecting ākonga to the whakapapa of the area. The decision follows an application by the Ngā Pōtiki ā Tamapahore Trust and a consultation process.
“The wharekura will initially have a maximum roll of 72 ākonga. Its establishment recognises the importance of Wairuatanga that is deeply embedded within the marae communities of the Bay of Plenty – Waiariki District,” Mr Davis said.
Teaching at the wharekura will be conducted in te reo Māori and will deliver a science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) programme supported by mātauranga Māori. This reflects Ngā Pōtiki ki Uta Ngā Pōtiki ki Tai – mai ngā kāhui maunga ki te moana: Tauranga Moana, Tauranga tangata: Te Arawa waka Te Arawa tangata: Mai ngā pae maunga ki te moana.
“Boosting Māori education is a focus for the Chris Hipkins’ Government, as shown in the recent Budget where $225 million went into areas including more classrooms and learning support,” the Minister said.
“Our goal is to grow the number of Māori learners in Māori Medium and Kaupapa Māori Education to 30% by 2040, and new wharekura like this will help us achieve this.
“We are pleased to make this announcement in partnership with Ngā Pōtiki ā Tamapahore Trust as we continue to work collaboratively to foster increased participation, engagement and success for Māori through Māori immersion education,” he said.
The next step is the appointment of an Establishment Board who will be tasked with developing the vision and direction of the wharekura and appointing staff.