A south Taranaki iwi says both the roll and the morale has been lifted at a local kura, nearly a year after the tribe won its battle to have a non-te reo Maori speaking commissioner removed from the school.
Te Kura o Nga Ruahine Rangi in Mangatoki is still under Education Ministry governance following a critical Education Review Office report.
But the tribe was annoyed that an English-speaking commissioner was brought in - because te reo Maori is the predominant language at the kura.
After repeated complaints to the Crown a local Maori speaker took over.
Nga Ruahine chairperson John Hooker says the school's now a happier place. He says there's been a significant turnaround with Maori staff now in key positions and the sinking roll is starting to increase again - and so too is morale.
Mr Hooker says there are now about 20 tamariki at the school.