“I see Charter Schools are copping more flak from Labour’s Chris Hipkins and I can understand why.
“I remember back when Charter Schools was first introduced, I was really pissed off with the Maori Party for supporting them when the government was doing bugger all for Kura Kaupapa, and they were so embarrassed about it that they didn’t even turn up to vote – they left National to speak for them!”
“And MANA is still opposed to them. They don’t have to be answerable to whanau or have any commitment to the Reo, they don’t have to have proper teachers or the level of transparency other schools do, and they’re getting heaps more money than Kura Kaupapa ever got.”
“I myself am a Kura Kaupapa boy – always have been, always will be – I’ve been on the Board at Aniwaniwa since before we even became a kura!
“But I have also been, and I continue to be a strong supporter and advocate for the kura once known as the Leadership Academy, now known as Te Kura Hourua O Whangarei Terenga Paraoa, or more better known as Te Kapehu Whetu.
“Te Kapehu Whetu is funded through Charter Schools. But what makes them different is their whakapapa. Te Kapehu Whetu was started before Charter Schools came along, when Maori kids were struggling in mainstream, the local kura kaupapa was bursting at the seams and there was a desperate need for new ideas and new leadership. That’s where the Leadership Academy came from – using the history of the ‘A’ Company of the Maori Battalion to create a solid educational platform based on discipline, and a strong commitment to kaupapa Maori.
“And as they’ve grown they’ve been bloody successful at it. Their NCEA levels are above the national average, their kids are awesome and the whanau support them – what more can you want in a kura?
“Charter Schools talk up Te Kapehu Whetu like it was their success story. Bullshit. Te Kapehu Whetu is its own success story. If they’d gotten their money from the Kremlin they’d still be a success. Their success is not based on money. It comes from strong leadership, clear vision and committed whanau.
“I support Te Kapehu Whetu and I challenge government to fund this country’s most successful Maori led educational initiative ever, Kura Kaupapa Maori, to the same level”