Education Minister Hon Hekia Parata has announced that Turakina Māori Girls’ College will close on 27 January 2016.
The decision has arisen following a second round of consultation about the state-integrated Presbyterian Māori girls’ boarding school during which two submissions were received.
Parata says, “There’s a great deal of goodwill towards the school and I am saddened about having to make this decision. However, the financial information provided in both consultation periods doesn’t give me confidence that the Proprietor is able to clear its debt and become financially viable.”
Although efforts have been made to increase the number of students attending the school, the roll has decreased from 152 students in 2003 to around 47 currently.
“The Ministry of Education will now focus its efforts on working with the remaining students at Turakina and their whānau to find suitable schooling for 2016. The Ministry will ensure every student is supported to transition successfully to a new school.
“While I know that my decision will not be what many in the wider school community would have wanted to hear, it should not come as a surprise. The struggles have been ongoing for some time. This announcement will give whanau certainty to plan for next year,” says Ms Parata.
Te Kāea reporter Heta Gardiner will bring more on this tonight at 5:30pm.