Three new kura kaupapa are on the cards under the announcement of $244 million in funding that will go towards new schools, additional classrooms and expansions to existing schools.
The kura kaupapa will be established in Whakatāne, Gisborne and Hastings.
Education Minister, Hekia Parata says, “Funding spread over four years, demonstrates the Government’s commitment to ensuring all kids can do their very best at school. It will be used to build seven new schools, expand four existing schools and add another 241 classrooms across the country.”
However Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis wants confirmation from Government that kura kaupapa will receive the same funding as mainstream schools in this year's budget.
Kelvin Davis says, "I'm worried about these schools and how they will resource themselves. Will they have a gym, a swimming pool? Mainstream schools don't experience the same kind of struggle Māori immersion schools do."
As well as the kura kaupapa the funding will go towards
- Two primary schools in Auckland at Kumeu and Scott Point
- Rototuna Senior High in Hamilton
- A primary school at Rolleston near Christchurch
Hekia Parata says, “We’ve seen kids starting earlier, staying longer and leaving better qualified in the past six years. I am determined that all kids get the best education possible including those who have not fared so well in the past - Māori, Pasifika and kids from poorer homes. This further funding will help meet roll growth as well as deliver school environments that meet the needs of kids in the 21st century.”
Davis questions the quality of the schools if sufficient funding isn't locked in. "It's hard work being a teacher in a mainstream school but I think even harder in a Māori school. The lack of resources and support from the Ministry of Education contributes to those hardships."
While the Minister of Education praised the amount allocated for future investment, many have also criticised it, saying growing population in the country automatically requires more Government investment and that much more investment is needed to make a real impact on improving education and schools in general.