7 Jul 2012

Education body working on iwi culture

11:25 pm on 7 July 2012

Maori education officials are working on a strategy to engage with iwi groups, partly in the hope that they will play a role in tribal schools.

This is being pursued by the Iwi Education Authority's cultural arm, Te KahuiReo Taketake, where interim chairman Toby Curtis says part of his job is to ensure tribes have a role in kura-a-iwi (tribal schools).

Authority members want to improve Maori education through discussions with professional teacher organisations and unions.

Mr Curtis is a former deputy vice chancellor at the Auckland University of Technology, and took up his new role as interim chairman during the first week of July.

He wants to find out from iwi how they see their input into iwi-based kura.

One example Mr Curtis gives is Ngati Rongomai of Te Arawa, which set up a kura to help ensure the sub tribe didn't disappear off the face of the earth.

He says the hapu didn't have people for speechmaking and karanga, and its people generally didn't know the songs of their elders.

Mr Curtis says the school has brought all of that back to the students and their parents.

He says the authority is working on a strategy to engage with iwi.