Reference Group to Boost Maori-Medium Teaching Workforce   1 May 2012

Education Minister Hekia Parata and Associate Minister Pita Sharples have announced the establishment of an expert reference group on the Maori-medium teaching workforce.
The reference group will advise the Government on how to increase the number of high-quality, te reo-fluent teachers in Maori-medium education.
The 10 strong group, who will meet for the first time today, is made up of principals, academics and business leaders.
“Maori-medium education is of enormous value to New Zealand, both for protecting and revitalising te reo Maori and for achieving good outcomes for learners, and for preparing for engagement with other cultures”, says Ms Parata.
“Our Government is determined to raise educational achievement for our young people, especially for our priority groups of Maori, Pasifika, learners with special education needs, and learners from low socio-economic backgrounds.
Associate Minister Dr Sharples says it is crucial for New Zealand to increase the supply of high-quality, highly trained, te reo-fluent teachers to meet current and future demand for Maori-medium education.
“We must ensure that every learner who wants to learn through te reo Maori, whether in full immersion or a bilingual class, can do so,’’ Dr Sharples says.
“This means finding new ways to attract and keep talented people in the profession.’’
The reference group will focus on teachers in Immersion Level 1 (te reo Maori used 81-100% of the time) and Level 2 (te reo Maori used 51–80% of the time). 
The group will develop a vision for strengthening the workforce, and recommendations on how to achieve this vision. They will report to the Ministers in July 2012.

Members of the Maori-medium Teaching Profession Reference Group

·         Uenuku Fairhall, the Principal of Rotorua’s Te Kura o Te Koutu

·         John Maihi, Chair of Te Puna Matauranga o Whanganui

·         Dr Catherine Love, Board Member, Port Nicholson Settlement Trust

·         Cath Rau, specialist in Maori-medium language and literacy development

·         Paora Royal, Principal of Ngaruawahia’s Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Bernard Fergusson.

·         Arihia Stirling, Principal of Auckland’s Te Kura Maori o Nga Tapuwae.

·         Lynne-Harata Te Aika, Head of School for Aotahi, School of Maori and Indigenous Studies, University of Canterbury.

·         Tony Trinick, Principal Lecturer and Associate Dean (Maori), Te Kura o te Puna Wananga, School of Maori Education, University of Auckland.

·         Hurae White, Deputy Principal at Hamilton’s Nawton Primary School

·         Chris Selwyn, Tumuaki Rumaki at Auckland’s Western Springs College.

(New Zealand Government)

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