Minister must engage community in school closure decision

The Education Minister must sincerely engage with the local school community before deciding whether she will close Turakina Māori Girls’ College, Labour’s local MP for Te Tai Hauāuru Adrian Rurawhe says.

“Closing Turakina would have a devastating effect on its students and whānau. This school has been operating for 110 years and has produced a number of young leaders.

“Hekia Parata must consult properly before making her decision. She has a history of not listening to local communities.

Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says the decision to look at closing Turakina shows a growing trend for Māori boarding schools.

“Labour calls on the Minister to meet with all Church Trusts and the boards of Māori boarding schools to develop a strategy to ensure the ongoing provision of these institutions.

“Hekia Parata is closing these schools which have a long legacy of generating Māori leaders while she is choosing to keep open her experimental charter schools which get up to five times as much funding as the state schools down the road,” Nanaia Mahuta says.