New fund to support Māori boarding schools

Labour will recognise the important role our Māori boarding schools play in growing our future Māori leaders by committing $20 million to a fund designed to provide them with financial support to continue to house, educate and manaaki rangatahi in their care.

Only four Māori boarding schools remain in Aotearoa; Hukarere College, St Joseph’s Maori Girls’ College and Te Aute College in Hawke’s Bay (Ikaroa-Rāwhiti) and Hato Pāora College in Feilding (Te Tai Hauāuru).

Labour’s Ikaroa-Rāwhiti candidate Meka Whaitiri said these schools carry on a tradition that has grown many great Māori leaders.

“This is a significant commitment acknowledging the history and legacy of these iconic Māori boarding schools and how they continue to contribute to Māoridom and the nation today,” Meka Whaitiri said.

“The rangatahi who attend these schools live and breathe tikanga, reo and develop a sense of whanaungatanga that can only be achieved inside these unique institutions.

“Successive governments have given up on Māori boarding schools, but Labour believes in the unique role they play, not just in educating rangatahi, but in instilling Māori values in the next generation of leaders.

“This fund will allow schools like Hukarere in my electorate to preserve their special character through investment in much needed building upgrades and will directly benefit the rangatahi learning and boarding at these schools.

“This is an investment in Ikaroa-Rāwhiti and our future leaders.

“As someone whose parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, sister, brothers and nieces have attended these schools, I know how important this commitment will be to many whānau,” Meka Whaitiri said.