Topic: Education

Turakina Māori Girls' up for sale at $4.7 million

By Leah Te Whata
  • North Island: West Coast

Former boarding school Turakina Māori Girls' College in Rangitīkei is up for sale with a rateable value of $4.7 million.

In 2016, Turakina's doors closed due to financial problems and a decrease in student attendance.

Turakina Ngā Hara Trust Chairman Wayne Te Kaawa says that although they are reluctant to sell, the former school has become a financial burden, costing around $2000 a week.

Te Kaawa says, "My mother and my daughter attended the school and we are very sad to sell it. But we have faith that something good will come out of this decision. "

Turakina first opened its doors in 1905 and has educated notable Māori women such as Dame Georgina Te Heuheu. 

It's currently listed on TradeMe at a rateable value of $4.7 million, gaining more than 3,000 views.

Te Kaawa says the first group of potential buyers viewed the property today and hopes the former school will be put to good use.

"We hope that a Māori group will purchase the school so that it will still be used to enhance and contribute to the Māori community," says Te Kaawa.

There have been conversations within the Trust about using money from the sale to create scholarships for the future education of past students and training Māori ministers within the Presbyterian Church.

There was some speculation that the property could be a good location for a second refugee resettlement centre to accommodate Labour's policy to bring in 500 extra refugees per year.

However, Immigration Minister Ian-Lees Galloway confirmed that a second centre isn't needed due to recent upgrades to the centre at Māngere.