A grassroots literacy programme was launched at Manurewa Marae on Friday to lift the reading skills of Maori students in south Auckland.
Associate Minister of Education Pita Sharples told Waatea News that too many young Maori reach high school with substandard literacy.
He says Manurewa was chosen because 40% of the students are Maori.
"It's a very good area, it's a mixed population, and has a large proportion (of) Maori, so we're doing it in over 20 primary schools, three intermediates, three high schools, two kura and one wharekura," Dr Sharples says.
He says the programme involves professional development for teachers, strengthening reading recovery programmes, and appointing literacy development officers to work with schools.