The integration agreement for Te Kura o Hata Maria Pawarenga in the far North has been officially cancelled as the school has moved to become a kura-a-iwi.
Last December, Education Minister Chris Hipkins published a notification in the Education Gazette that Te Kura o Hata Maria (Pawarenga) would be a designated character school.
It would operate with the following aims, purposes, and objectives which would together constitute its designated character – providing Māori immersion education and/or bilingual education and operating as a kura-a-iwi, localising its curriculum within the Te Uri o Tai sub-tribal group of Te Rarawa.
In an ERO report in 2018, it was noted that the Catholic Education Office (Auckland diocese) “is supporting the kura as it works to achieve a different special character status. At the time of this review, consultation processes were underway”.
The review also noted that “Te Kura o Hata Maria is a small, rural, state-integrated Catholic school located in Pawarenga near the Whangape Harbour. The school has a roll of 24 students. Two classes provide the option of immersion te reo Māori or bilingual education”.
Auckland diocese general manager James van Schie announced the official cancellation of the kura’s integration agreement to diocesan staff last month. He wrote that the cancellation was done “with sadness”.
“This is part of a long and managed process to transition to a kura-a-iwi,” Mr van Schie said. “It is a significant milestone for the diocese and the community. A ceremony will shortly be planned to mark this milestone.
“Thank you to the teachers, families, religious and priests who have worked so hard over many years to imbue the Catholic kaupapa of this school. I am confident that the Catholic ethos will continue in the fibre of this school for a very long time.”