$14.9 million allocated to upgrade Maori boarding schools

Maori Development Minister Willie Jackson announced $14.9 million for four Maori boarding schools.

Jericho Rock Archer

Maori Development Minister Willie Jackson announced $14.9 million for four Maori boarding schools.

Maori boarding schools will receive a $14.9 million injection from the government, with the money earmarked for long overdue improvements.

Read this story in te reo Māori and in English here / Pānuitia tēnei i te reo Māori me te reo Pākehā ki konei.

Maori Development Minister Willie Jackson said the money will be shared between four schools and is part of Budget 2021’s $20 million investment in the Maori boarding schools initiative.

The four beneficiaries of the cash injection are St Joseph Māori Girls’ College, Hato Pāora College, Te Aute College and Hukarere Girls’ College.

St Joseph Māori Girls’ College board member Rakeipoho Taiaroa said the school was relieved to receive the $6.2 million allocation.

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“Right now St Joseph has quite a big project ahead of us in terms of earthquake preparedness and a lot of capital work to do,” he said.

“With the current procurement times we find ourselves in right now, the costs are increasing more and more for such a project.”

Areas of the school, including the chapel, had to be closed due to the risks posed by the buildings.

He said some aqueducts and one of the areas where the girls slept also needed to be looked at for safety reasons.

He said that although the school is performing well both culturally and academically, it was the “bricks and mortar” that was of concern.

Hato Pāora College, which received $2.7 million, will use the money to upgrade buildings. The school has not undergone any major upgrades in the past 17 years and the accommodations have not been upgraded since the 1990s.

Te Aute College receives $5 million from the fund and Hukarere Girls’ College receives $981,300.

Funding allocations have been determined with particular attention to address critical infrastructure issues to ensure a healthy and safe learning environment in accordance with applicable regulations.

“These kura are iconic Maori institutions that have produced such eminent Maori leaders as Tā Apirana Ngāta, Tā Peter Te Rangi Hīroa Buck and Dame Whina Cooper, and countless other leaders of our communities and iwi,” Jackson said.

“Upgrading essential facilities for these kura is essential to ensure they can continue to educate rangatahi Maori leaders and provide quality education.”

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