Kura Kaupapa disappointed at lack of budget funds

By Talisa Kupenga

Kura Kaupapa Māori representatives welcome government's $1.5 million investment in Te Rūnanganui o Ngā Kura Kaupapa, but say it falls short in terms of Māori immersion students, teachers and communities. Spokesperson Rawiri Wright says they hoped to see more support.

"They [representatives] don't really see any funding for our Māori education system, like our Māori immersion schools," says Wright. "From what they can see, most of the funding has gone to support a mainstream education system which has not yet resulted in outcomes for our Māori students."

Government allocated budget funds to Te Rūnanganui to help it support Māori immersion schools. It also invested $1.2-billion for new classrooms, schools, and expansions, and more than $200-million for Te Reo Māori.

"We acknowledge the government is working towards growing the number of Māori language speakers but what about those that already speak Māori?" says Wright.

Māori Education Minister Kelvin Davis says, "We are reviewing the country's education landscape so within those findings we will be able to see how we can help the different schools, including Māori immersion schools and mainstream."

Wright says basic resources were lacking, but the Minister says there is plenty at the Ministry of Education.

"At secondary school level, there is yet to be a single resource book [for students] created by government in the 200-years we've had the education system," says Wright.

In response, Davis says, "Maybe Te Rūnanganui and the Ministry of Education should meet to discuss the resources that are available."

A post-budget funding announcement for Kohanga Reo is expected Tuesday next week.