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Press Release - 8 September 2003

Research Shows that Māori Boarding Schools Have Huge Opportunity to Expand

New research shows that there is significant potential for the Māori boarding schools to increase their rolls.

In May, Paerangi Limited recently contracted BRC Research (who also undertake the regular Te Mana Campaign Public Awareness Surveys for the Ministry of Education) to survey 250 Māori households nationally, on their attitudes towards and perceptions of the remaining Maori boarding schools. The purpose of the survey was to begin a process for understanding the potential market for these schools.

Contrary to expectations, the research shows that the Maori boarding schools have a relatively low profile within the national Māori community. Only 12% of those interviewed knew a lot about the schools, while 48% were unaware of their existence. Of those who either knew a lot or a little about the existing Māori boarding schools, only 11% had a clearly negative view of the schools. In spite of their relatively low profile, 70% of those interviewed would recommend sending students to these schools (although 36% had some reservations).

According to Paerangi Limited CEO, Atawhai Tibble, these results are good. “They are promising from a demand point of view, and suggest that there is a potentially large and untapped market of Māori students who might be interested in attending the schools in the future.”

Tibble is encouraged by the results, “Currently, we serve less than 2% of the total Maori secondary school poplation of 40,000. If we can get our message about how well our schools are performing into the wider Māori community, there is no valid reason why we can’t double our school rolls and grow our share to 4%.”

He has a warning however. “The potential pool is not guaranteed. The challenge for our schools is to develop a growth and marketing strategy that not only assists them individually, but also helps to grow the collective.”

For further information, contact:
Atawhai Tibble
CE, Paerangi Limited
Ph 04 470 6065
Mobile 0274 364 373
Fax 04 470 6068

Click here to download a summary of the research report

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