10 October 2016 MEDIA STATEMENT
A letter from Hawke’s Bay principals to the Education Minister slams the lack of consultation over the establishment of a charter school in the region and seriously calls into question the decision making going on under Hekia Parata’s watch, says Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri.
“This is a damning letter by the Hawke’s Bay Secondary Principals’ Association and shows the process for announcing the establishment of Te Aratika Academy has been a shambles.
“There has been a complete lack of consultation with our region’s schools over the decision to set up a charter school here and a disregard for the knowledge and expertise of our local principals.
“I completely back our region’s principals for taking this stance; it’s unacceptable that they’ve been left in the dark over this.
“Perhaps most worrying is the Association’s belief that the local Ministry of Education office was also taken by surprise with this decision. What’s going on at the Ministry?
“If Hekia Parata was genuine about raising educational outcomes for young Maori men in Hawke’s Bay, then the first step should have been to draw on the experience of our local network of schools and principals to identify the issues and develop solutions.
“That no local schools have been consulted over this decision suggests this was predetermined and more about opening another charter school than a real plan to improve education for the young Maori men in our community.
“Hawke’s Bay doesn’t need a charter school, especially not one that has been set up without any proper investigation into how it’s going to improve outcomes here. Hekia Parata has a lot of explaining to do,” says Meka Whaitiri.