11 Jun 2012

Nelson kura wins over locals

10:28 pm on 11 June 2012

The chairperson of Nelson's first Maori language immersion school says there has been a shift in attitude among members of the public who now understand the school will not be exclusive.

Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Tuia Te Matangi will be based in Richmond and officially opens on 14 July.

The chair of the school's board of trustees, Dayveen Stephens, says some local people feared the kura may take a militant stance and pressure the community to learn Maori.

She explained to them that the kura is a positive project and it is open to all tamariki, regardless of whether they are Maori or not.

Ms Stephens says pockets of the community changed their attitude after the board explained it is about a group of parents who want the option of sending their children to a school where the instruction is in te reo Maori.

She says it is not about pushing te reo down people's throats, and the community is now appreciating what the kura is trying to achieve.