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Urgency sought for hearing over Partnership Schools

Urgency sought for hearing to address Maori being prejudiced by the Crown’s destruction of Kura Hourua Partnership Schools

Claimants Sir Toby Curtis, Dame Iritana Tawhiwhirangi, Dame Tariana Turia and Pem Bird have filed for their Treaty of Waitangi claim, Wai 2770, to be heard by the Waitangi Tribunal with urgency.

Their claim, on behalf of themselves and Maori generally, takes issue with the acts and omissions of the Crown in respect of the closure of Partnership Schools | Kura Hourua.

Notable Maori educator Sir Toby Curtis said ‘the state system has been failing our kids for 178 years, we finally get a schooling system that works for our young people and Minister Hipkins acts unilaterally, without considering evidence of their success, and without consulting with our people, to destroy them. This Minister has resorted to bullying to have his way, and in so doing has disproportionately prejudiced Maori compared to non-Maori.’

‘From where we stand, this Government’s claims that the reduction of child poverty and the welfare of young people is a paramount focus lacks substance, in the face of Kura Hourua being closed they are empty claims. Educational success is key for our whanau who have aspirations for a better life for their children and who are seeking to escape deprivation and poverty. The State Education system might be working for a lot of people, but for the last 178 years it hasn’t addressed Maori and Pasifika educational under-achievement, which these Kura Hourua were’, he said.

This Minister has decided without consultation to close all 11 Kura Hourua by Christmas, while shortly after committing to extensive consultation around the review of Tomorrow’s Schools and NCEA. Minister Hipkins has acted in concert with the Teachers’ Unions to treat Maori differently and decide unilaterally to close 11 schools that were achieving extraordinary results for our young people, that is inequity, pure and simple’, Sir Toby said.

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