Two total immersion Maori language schools in Christchurch granted a reprieve from closure or merger now aim to rebuild their relationship.
On Wednesday, Education Minister Hekia Parata finalised plans to close or merge some earthquake affected schools, and told both kura kaupapa that they can stay where they are.
However, during the lead up to the final decision each school had had to tell the Ministry of Education why they shouldn't be made to move to another location.
The chair of the board of trustees at Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Te Whanau Tahi says they were forced to compete, which tested their relationship.
Huata Martindale says his school now aims for both kura to come together and celebrate their achievement.
Te Kura Whakapumau i te reo Tuturu o Waitaha says the dust has settled and it's pleased both schools can stay where they are, on their turangawaewae.