Reference group to boost Māori-medium teaching workforce

Tuesday 1 May 2012, 1:57PM
By Hekia Parata

Education Minister Hekia Parata and Associate Minister Pita Sharples have announced the establishment of an expert reference group on the Māori-medium teaching workforce.

The reference group will advise the Government on how to increase the number of high-quality, te reo-fluent teachers in Māori-medium education.

The ten strong group, who will meet for the first time today, is made of up principals, academics and business leaders.

“Māori-medium education is of enormous value to New Zealand, both for protecting and revitalising te reo Māori and for achieving good education outcomes for learners, and for preparing for engagement with other cultures,” says Ms Parata.

“Our Government is determined to raise educational achievement for our young people, especially for our priority groups of Māori, Pasifika, learners with special education needs, and learners from low socio-economic backgrounds.”

Associate Minister Dr Sharples says it is crucial for New Zealand to increase the supply of high-quality, highly trained, te reo-fluent teachers to meet current and future demand for Māori-medium education.

“We must ensure that every learner who wants to learn through te reo Māori, whether in full immersion or a bilingual class, can do so,’’ says Dr Sharples.

“This means finding new ways to attract and keep talented people in the profession.’’

The reference group will focus on teachers in Immersion Level 1 (te reo Māori used 81-100% of the time) and Level 2 (te reo Māori used 51–80% of the time).

The group will develop a vision for strengthening the workforce and recommendations on how to achieve this vision.

They will report to the Ministers’ in July 2012.

Members of the Māori-medium Teaching Profession Reference Group

  • Uenuku Fairhall, Principal of Rotorua’s Te Kura o Te Koutu.
  • John Maihi, Chair of Te Puna Mātauranga o Whanganui.
  • Dr Catherine Love, Board Member, Port Nicholson Settlement Trust.
  • Cath Rau, specialist in Māori-medium language and literacy development.
  • Paora Royal, Principal of Ngaruawahia’s Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Bernard Fergusson.
  • Arihia Stirling, Principal of Auckland’s Te Kura Māori o Ngā Tapuwae.
  • Lynne-Harata Te Aika, Head of School for Aotahi, School of Māori and Indigenous Studies, University of Canterbury.
  • Tony Trinick,Principal Lecturer and Associate Dean (Māori), Te Kura o te Puna Wananga, School of Māori Education, University of Auckland.
  • Hurae White, Deputy Principal at Hamilton’s Nawton Primary School.
  • Chris Selwyn, Tumuaki Rumaki at Auckland’s Western Springs College.