A new Year 1-13 designated character wharekura will be established in Feilding, Associate Minister of Education, Kelvin Davis announced today.
To be known as Te Kura o Kauwhata, the wharekura will cater for the expected growth in Feilding for years to come, the Minister said.
“The Government has a goal of strengthening Māori Medium Education and growing the number of learners to 30% by 2040,” said Mr Davis.
“To do that we are investing heavily in many areas such as teacher training and current infrastructure, but we will also need new classrooms to meet demand.”
Mātauranga taketake and Te Ao Māori will be embedded in the teaching and learning at all levels of the wharekura, and Te Reo Māori will be the primary language of instruction. The proposed curriculum will be grounded in taonga tuku ihohanga (cultural inheritance) of Ngāti Kauwhata ancestry.
The application was made by Ngā Kaitiaki o Ngāti Kauwhata Incorporated, whose trustees are elected by Ngāti Kauwhata whānau for the purpose of advancing the cultural, social, and educational wellbeing of Ngāti Kauwhata. The application was assessed and consultation with the boards of schools in the Manawatū network whose rolls might be affected has taken place.
“After considering the application by Ngā Kaitiaki o Ngāti Kauwhata, and the consultation responses, I was thrilled to be able approve a new wharekura in the Feilding area,” Minister Davis said.
“We are excited to make this announcement in partnership with Ngāti Kauwhata as we continue to work collaboratively to foster increased participation, engagement and success for Māori through Māori medium education.”
Te Kura o Kauwhata is planned to open in 2023. An Establishment Board will be appointed to ensure that the new wharekura is ready to open.
Ngā Kura-a-Iwi o Aotearoa will have an ongoing special affiliation with Te Kura o Kauwhata.