To Northland now, where more than 70 new students attended the dawn ceremony and opening of the new Whangaruru Partnership School. It's a real achievement in the short time given, considering the high level of controversy and opposition to charter schools expressed by important educational groups.
Pre-dawn incantations took place for the opening of the Whangaruru Partnership School named Te Pūmanawa o te Waiora.
According to Natasha Sadler of te Kura Hōurua o Whangaruru, “Our ancestors and our people have always longed for this type of school for their descendants.”
For years mainstream schools in this region have proven unsuccessful at lifting the achievement levels of Māori students, so parents have now turned to charter schools as a way of achieving the desired outcomes for their children.
Chair of Ngā Pariraru Mātauranga Trust, Hori Parata says, “Our plan for this school is to educate our children in our own customs, philosophies and language.”
The boys from the Whangarei Terenga Paraoa Partnership School came in total support and to hand over one of their senior students who will transfer as a student of the Whangaruru Partnership School.
Natasha Sadler says “there will always be difficulties, but by maintaining focus on our children and their families, we'll steer clear of trouble.”
Supporters of this school believe it's here that the students begin on the pathway to knowing who they really are.