18 Sep 2012

Ngai Tahu not consulted on forced merger of kura

9:49 pm on 18 September 2012

Ngai Tahu says it has not been consulted about a proposal to merge two Maori immersion schools in Christchurch.

The Government wants to amalgamate Te Whanau Tahi and Whakapumau i Te Reo Tuturu o Waitaha - as part of a wider plan to re-organise the education system after the earthquakes.

Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu says it would like to have more Maori-medium education in the city - not less.

It says any reduction in Maori language schools would be inconsistent with its kaupapa or policy.

The runanga is clear that it wants Maori pupils to do better at school, and says children should continue to get quality education close to their homes - and in the schools of their choice.

A Ministry of Education assessment shows that since the earthquakes the number of children attending Whakapumau i Te Reo Tuturu o Waitaha has dropped from 123 to 78.

But the number of children attending Te Whanau Tahi has not changed, and remains strong at 73.

The ministry says all of the buildings at the two school sites are safe to be used.

But some strengthening work will have to be done over the longer-term.

Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu says it's working with the affected kura and understands they are extremely concerned about their future.