NGATA IS PERHAPS THE GREATEST PRODUCT OF Māori BOARDING SCHOOL
So it is fitting that his classic korero, E Tipu E Rea should
stand as a reminder to the 6 Māori boarding schools of their
niche within the NZ education system.
I say niche because that is what the Māori boarding schools,
Hato Petera, Hukarere, St Joseph’s, Te Aute, Hato Paora
and Turakina are: they represent a particular approach to helping
rangatahi reach their full potential.
They are not the ONLY way to raise Māori student performance
– if there is such a thing. But as this report shows,
they are one way; they still make a difference; and, they remain
a useful alternative to both mainstream education and, what
is now known as, Māori medium education.
And, in my view, it is the special character that makes them
unique. Because unlike other forms of education, Māori boarding
schools comprehensively embody Apirana’s aspirations as
expressed in his famous saying.
First of all, these schools are fundamentally focused on assisting
Māori students to firmly understand and grasp western knowledge
or the ‘rakau a te Pakeha. Ngata insisted this was critical
to Māori progress.
Secondly, they encourage Māori students to be both proud of
their cultural heritage – nga taonga a o tupuna. Api was
adamant that the language and culture were vital to Māori living
these are staunchly church based schools and all provide a curriculum
and education and living environment that is christian based
– something Ngata firmly believed in.
This report presents the facts about Māori boarding school education
and the progress they have made over the past five years or
so. I am pleased to say that it demonstrates how these schools
are helping many communities to realise the potential of their
The report makes one thing absolutely clear: these schools,
once the premiere schools in Māori education have learned the
hard lessons of the recent past and are making the changes necessary
to add value to the lives of rangatahi in the 21st Century.
As long as these schools continue to perform for our people,
and grow and develop, I am absolutely certain they will continue
for many more years.
Naku noa na
Te Aorere Riddell
Chair, Paerangi Limited