25 Mar 2013

Two schools refuse to budge

9:45 am on 25 March 2013

Two Maori immersion schools are refusing to budge from their sites, despite the Ministry of Education insisting one of them has to relocate.

The kura kaupapa schools - Te Whanau Tahi and Waitaha - are in agreement that neither will move and both they will fight the Government's decision to make one of them agree by 28 March to relocate.

Ministry deputy secretary Katrina Casey says the ministry will only get involved in recommending which kura it thinks should relocate if the kura are unable to agree about it themselves.

But the chair of Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Waitaha, Christina Rask, says the Government is trying to divide and rule by leaving the decision up to the kura.

The school's principal, Terina Ranginui-Tahau, says she does not agree with the Government's claim that if their kura moves, it will improve families' access to Maori language education, as the school currently provides free transport for students to get to the school from all over Christchurch.

Ms Ranginui-Tahau says the ministry estimates that relocating Te Kura o Waitaha from its Waltham site to north Christchurch would cost $6 million.

She says this is a waste of taxpayers' money, as the school has had no earthquake damage.