29 Mar 2013

Christchurch kura says its survey backs staying put

1:02 am on 29 March 2013

A Maori immersion school in Christchurch has conducted a survey to try to persuade the Ministry of Education to allow it to stay where it is.

Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Waitaha is located in the suburb of St Martins.

Waitaha and Spreydon-based Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Te Whanau Tahi are both refusing to move despite the ministry insisting that one of them moves to another site.

The survey canvassed 150 homes in three suburbs - Parklands, Aranui and Mairehau, where the Government wants Waitaha or Te Whanau Tahi to shift to.

The survey, which is part of a submission to the Ministry of Education, found parents wanted a school that provides bilingual education, not total immersion.

The two schools were given until Thursday to provide feedback and decide which one should move or the ministry will step in and make a recommendation.

Te Kura o Waitaha concedes its survey may not be perfect but says it's the best information available in the absence of ministry evidence.

The submission also argues other points as to why Waitaha shouldn't be moved, including that the relocation is expected to cost about $6 million.

It also says many of its students come from kohanga reo, with many of the city's kohanga located near its current location and only one based in Aranui.

Other points are a lack of ministry evidence proving the demand for a kura kaupapa in suburbs such as; Aranui or Parkland and that Waitaha already provides a bus service for students, some of whom travel to school from as far as Rangiora and Kaiapoi.