Preparations take shape for the Kingitanga kōhanga reo meeting this weekend

By Maiki Sherman

Tomorrow will see the first day of the national meeting for kōhanga reo at Tūrangawaewae Marae, with a focus on developing a pathway forward given the recent turmoil. Over the past few months Te Kāea has spoken to a number of kōhanga reo whānau on their thoughts over the issue and hopes for the days ahead.

At kōhanga across the country, it's clear the children are flourishing. Rangi Anderson-O'Brien was one of the first pupils at Te Kōhanga Reo o Kia Tau Te Rangimārie in Nelson, now she's the teacher. It's an example seen throughout the county.    

Rangi Anderson-O’Brien says that “It's very special for me to come back here and hand down what I learnt”

Despite the current turmoil, Māori families have an immense love for the movement. That is why they want concerns addressed at King Tuheitia's meeting with a plan to move forward.  

“I want us all to come together at the meeting alongside the King and to develop something that everyone can agree on” says Rangi.

Having a voice at the board level has been a request of some kōhanga whānau for months now. Yesterday, the Board revealed four governance models for a possible new structure. However, they're also encouraging whānau to bring their own ideas.

“Here we are putting our efforts into teaching the children about their spirituality and physical wellbeing as said in the korowai, but we aren't seeing that from the board itself” notes Pae Jaman.

There's no doubt the new structure of the board will affect its standing for a new contract from the Ministry of Education. At this point the Ministry says it's not going to renew the master contract regarding funding for Trust operations.

The meeting will commence tomorrow and finish on Sunday.

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