Te Kura Māori o Waatea at Ngā Whare Waatea Marae in Māngere officially opened this morning with Minister of Education Hon Hekia Parata, Education Under Secretary David Seymour and Manukau Urban Māori Authority CEO Willie Jackson in attendance.
Other guests celebrating the opening included former Māori Party Co-Leader Dame Tariana Turia, Te Taitokerau Māori MP Peeni Henare and Mangere Labour MP Su’a William Sio.
The charter school opened amid recent concerns surrounding one of the country’s first charter schools Te Pumanawa o te Wairua in Whangaruru, run by Ngā Parirau Mātauranga Charitable Trust. The school is on an official warning with a performance notice requiring immediate action be taken to rectify issues identified by the end of the month when a Specialist Audit will assess the school’s progress.
Regardless, Hekia Parata has praised the leadership of the newest Kura Hourua complimenting the Kura Tumuaki Tania Rangiheuea saying her intellectual toughness, commitment and academic rigour is outstanding. She says these are the quality of leaders that raise the achievement level of our tamariki.
The school stands by its team of qualified and trained teachers who will follow the New Zealand Curriculum and Te Whāriki. While their teaching approach will be ‘whole of child, whole of whānau,’ a whānau-focused Partnership School providing Year 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 education.
Te Kura Māori o Waatea is a partnership between the Ministry of Education and the Manukau Urban Māori Authority (MUMA), a not-for-profit charitable trust led by Willie Jackson
Jackson says “it’s unbelievable how Māori embraced and work well with conservative political parties to achieve Kura like Waatea. But we all know the kaupapa is bigger than politics and parties, Māori achievement is everyone’s agenda.”
According to Jackson, "Te Kura Māori o Waatea is more than a kura it’s a whanau, community, an urban Māori kaupapa for all of South Auckland.”