I spent two days last week with the Te Akatea Executive who met right here at Kia Aroha College, enjoying all that our facilities have to offer. The purpose of our hui was to connect with key stakeholders who are influencing change for Māori. High on our agenda was discussing the Tomorrow’s Schools Review report and considering the 32 recommendations from the perspective of Māori learners.
We welcomed input from a number of visitors to our hui who all brought their perspectives and insight. These manuhiri included; Lynda Pura-Watson, Nick Pole and Charles Rolleston all senior leaders at the Education Review Office, Professor Mere Berryman and her team on the Our Schooling Futures-Stronger Together, 'Tomorrow’s Schools Review, and Associate Professor Melinda Webber from Auckland University. Melinda shared her research and invited schools and members to contribute to the question, ‘How can we foster cultural pride and academic aspiration among Māori students?’ We also heard from Joanne Hayes (National Party spokesperson for Māori Education) and Tuwhakairiora Williams.
It was two very full-on days of discussion and debate and a great opportunity to dig beneath the reports and media presentations and to hear from the people involved. While we had plenty to say as Te Akatea members, I’m always left wondering who really listened and will we see any of the changes and thinking we spoke up for? We’ll see!