A kura that's just gained secondary school status says seamless Māori language education is the future.
Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Wānanga Whare Tapere o Tākitimu in Hastings already runs a kohanga reo, a kura kaupapa Māori for five to thirteen year olds, and a Māori Performing Arts School on the same site.
It also prepared a secondary-level curriculum this year for one student who refused to leave, and from next year will have official approval to operate a whare kura for secondary school education.
Principal Fleur Wainohu said losing students when they reach secondary school age had been a huge problem.
She said with Maori being an endangered language it was important to be able to offer continuous education in te reo, tikanga, and heritage.
"Our uniqueness is offering education from the womb to the tomb. That's what makes us special. We celebrate that hugely because there's no other place where you can come in as a baby and still be here as a kaumatua."
Te Runanga Nui o Nga Kura Kaupapa Māori o Aotearoa has congratulated Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Wānanga Whare Tapere o Tākitimu on achieving composite or secondary school provision status.
Tumuaki Cathy Dewes said it had been operating successfully since 1996, providing a unique Māori language education that embraced the Te Aho Matua philosophy with a special focus on Maori Performing Arts.
"They have worked hard to provide excellent education for children in Heretaunga often with limited resources, but regardless they have always maintained their commitment and enthusiasm."