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Government Commitment To Te Aute College & Hukarere Girls' College

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The future of Te Aute College and Hukarere Girls' College, New Zealand's pre-eminent Maori boarding schools, will be enhanced following a commitment by the Minister of Finance and Minister of Maori Affairs.

In a letter dated 14 October (see attached) to Te Aute College Negotiators, Justice Eddie Durie and Neville Baker, Dr Cullen and Mr Horomia said the Government would:

Make an unspecified ex-gratia payment to support a number of activities at both schools. (The Negotiators had sought an initial $3m from the Government for initiatives that included upgrading hostels and teacher housing, scholarships and a marketing campaign.)

Support both schools improve student achievement, school performance and school and community relationships through a Ministry of Education initiative.

Lead a process with the schools and their communities over the future shape of the schools, in response to their request to become state schools.

The Ministers said they anticipated the engagement process would take several months, and would be concluded by the end of this year.

The Ministers said their first priority was to build educational excellence before considering in-depth the long-term financial sustainability of the school.

The Negotiators had requested the Government begin work on restoring an endowment for the Te Aute Trust Board. This endowment would be compensation for imposed Glasgow Leases on Te Aute endowment land, and the illegal sale by the Crown of land from the school's original endowment.

This "raid on Te Aute's endowment" had resulted in financial hardship for the schools over the past century.

The Ministers said in their letter they intended to explore the "modernising of the Te Aute endowment", but work on this would only be done "following the schooling improvement work and the work to be done to support the Te Aute Trust Board's governance arrangements and financial planning".

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