Maori community to hold schools hui

CHARLEY MANN
Last updated 08:58 24/10/2012

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In just two weeks, the Maori community has increased consultation five-fold on the proposed shakeup of Chrictchurch schools.

The Maori school and community cluster will hold a consultation hui tomorrow to discuss the findings of a survey to determine the direction of Maori medium education.

The Education Ministry proposes to close or merge seven out of 10 Christchurch schools that offer Maori medium education, including full immersion Te Kura Kaupapa Maori schools Te Whanau Tahi and Te Kura Whakapumau Te Reo Tuturu Ki Waitaha.

Schools affected by the proposals have until December 7 to complete consultation and report back to the ministry.

Ngai Tahu consulted with whanau over three weeks in May, when representatives attended a kapa haka competition at the Lincoln Events Centre. The process returned 74 responses.

A ministry spokeswoman said the ministry did not consult specifically with Maori.

Ngai Tahu held their own consultation, on top of ministry community consultation, she said.

Melanie Riwai-Couch, a specialist education adviser and mother of five bilingual children, held an online survey over two weeks, as part of the consultation period schools have been given. Around 370 whanau responded.

''There is a huge amount of energy and commitment in the community around revitalising Te Reo Maori,'' she said.

''It takes six generations to revitalise a language, but just two generations to lose it."

Through feedback, Riwai-Couch has identified five ''core principles'' to whanau, which will be discussed tomorrow.

The principles are:

1. Revitalise Te Reo Maori

2. Treaty of Waitangi principals and rites

3. Access to Maori medium education

4. Parental choice, whether bilingual or full immersion

5. Quality teaching, learning and outcomes

The hui, for anybody who wants to contribute, takes place tomorrow at 77 Ashgrove Tce from 9am to 2.45pm.

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- The Press

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