Kura kaupapa misses new govt putea

By Tema Hemi

A Wellington Kura Kaupapa says it's disadvantaged by the Government's decile zoning system. Despite a recent funding boost of more than 265 million into the scheme. TKKM o Ngā Mokopuna principal Rawiri Wright says it's time the Government stepped up and reviewed a broken system. 

"For long now, Ngā Mokopuna has had issues with the decile schools system, and although we are a decile eight school, that does not reflect our families that send their kids here to this school."

According to the National Body representing Kura Kaupapa, the average decile rating for a Kura is between decile 3 & 4, but not Ngā Mokopuna.

Wright continues, "Because we are a decile eight school it doesn’t really matter to us. But it will be of great assistance for all those schools decile one to seven because it is within those schools where our most unfortunate families are."

Education Minister Chris Hipkins says he's pleased that this scheme is going to give 1,563 schools guaranteed extra funding next year.

Hipkins says, "Some of those schools have applied for a decile review so they can have their decile reviewed and we're working with those schools that have applied for that and of course we've been clear that in future years we'll look at decile eight nine and ten schools as well.”

Wright explains, "We will be applying for a review of our current decile status and I think that decile three or four is where we should be. So if our review is successful we will receive more funding support which will be of great assistance.”

Hipkins continues, "If a school has applied for a decile review, those reviews are under way and some of them have the results of those."

An example of the negative impact of the decile system on Ngā Mokopuna according to Rawiri, his Kura whānau had to raise the entire budget to ensure the kura represented their whānau and wider Wellington region at the National Primary Schools Kapa Haka competition. But if they were a decile 1-7 they would have been eligible for a contribution or donation to those costs.

Wright says in conclusion, "Despite the high cost it’s only right that we attend. We as a school must find a way to support our students and those of our families that want to attend also. That’s what we do as Māori and support our families, and it’s difficult at times."

Let's hope the review of the decile ranking yields a positive outcome for Ngā Mokopuna.