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NEVER SAY DIE*
TE AUTE COLLEGE

September 2004
Vol. 1, Issue 3

Inside this issue:

NEVER SAY DIE*
TE AUTE COLLEGE (p1)


HUKARERE GOES HITECH
Hukarere College (p2)


FROM ZERO TO HERO*
HATO PETERA COLLEGE (p3)


YOU CAN DO IT!
TURAKINA MGC (p4)


BOARD ROOMS, CORPORATE OFFICES TO PARLIAMENT
Hato Paora College (p5)


LEGENDARY LEADERSHIP
St Joseph’s Māori Girls’ College (p6)

ON THE WALL JUST BEHIND THE SCREEN OF TOM RATIMA’S LAPTOP IS HIS WHAKAPAPA. IT TRACES HIS LINEAGE BACK TO TE HAPUKU, THE PARAMOUNT CHIEF OF TE WHATUIAPITI, THE PEOPLE WHO GAVE LAND FOR TE AUTE IN 1854 TO ESTABLISH TE AUTE COLLEGE.

“It keeps me focused on why I am here,” says Ratima, the Executive Manager of Te Aute College or CEO. Ratima has gone to lead this school in what are troubled times.

Te Aute celebrates its 150th anniversary this year but is fighting for survival. Their classrooms have produced some of the most prominent leaders in Māoridom – from Sir Apirana Ngata, Sir Maui Pomare, to Peter Sharples, Mason and Eddie Jury. But two ERO reports last year identified several problems including a lack of leadership, poor financial management, questionable curriculum delivery and concerns about the well being of pupils in the hostel.
There was also disquiet about the lack of cooperation between Te Aute’s board of trustees and the Te Aute Trust Board, which represents the Anglican Church, is the college’s proprietor and runs the hostel. Many of the colleges problems ERO blamed on the lack of cooperation.

Last year the Ministry appointed two limited statutory managers. One is the former Mayor of Hastings, Jeremy Dwyer,

who is an ex pupil and taught at Te Aute in the 1970s and 1980s. The other is Andy Matthews who manages the school’s finances.

Meanwhile, the college has taken action. A taskforce was formed in October last year to consider the future of it’s two schools – Te Aute and Hukarere. It pulled no punches on the extremely serious situation at Te Aute and made several recommendations. Te Aute, which has taught girls since 1992 would revert to boys only from next year and most importantly, the school would reinvigorate its kaupapa or philosophy.

These moves have helped the college turn the tide, and it was given a cautious thumbs up by the ERO this month after a review in June. The latest report focuses mainly on the hostel and finds several significant improvements - from plans to refurbish hostel blocks, increased pastoral support for students to communication improvements between the two boards.

A key area identified in the December taskforce report is one of kaupapa or philosophy: what the school stands for.
Dwyer says historically, the college has provided a learning environment steeped in language and culture with a religious element. Mainstream schools now provide the cultural elements, previously only assessable through Māori boarding

schools, and are able to offer a wider curriculum due to their rolls in excess of 1000 students.

Board of Trustees chair Tutu Wirepa accepts there is a need to rebrand the school. The Auckland businessman is looking at workable solutions such as specializing in certain subjects and building a reputation in these. Increasing the numbers of day students is also an option however the school will remain predominately a boarding school.

Tutu Wirepa says the school will not lose sight of its traditions. “One of the unique characters of this school has been its tradition and the place of tikanga Māori and we are defining what that unique role is, in Māori society and New Zealand society.”

These and other issues will be discussed during a wananga at the college on September 13th, part of the schools 150th celebrations.

Whatever the outcome, these three key members, Ratima, Dwyer and Wirepa say Te Aute is not ready to lie down and die. Giving up has never been in the Te Aute curriculum.

*This article is an edited version of an article written by Martin Kay of the Dominion Post. It has been printed with their kind permission.


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