Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ngai Tahu offers to help Aorangi School

Good news about support for Aorangi from Ngai Tahu.

"Ngai Tahu has offered to pay for the rebuilding of Christchurch's Aorangi School in what would be the first public-private school partnership between an iwi and the Crown.

The proposed deal for the school, which faces closure because of a falling roll and a dispute over replacing its dilapidated buildings, would see its buildings owned by Ngai Tahu and leased to the Crown."

"Aorangi board of trustees member Andrew Oh said the Government had been promoting the idea of a public-private partnership (PPP) and Ngai Tahu's commercial arm had been looking at getting into education, so Aorangi School was a "perfect opportunity".

"This is a commercial decision. The bottom line is it does tie in nicely with what they have been trying to do, especially in protecting their language," he said."

Is it really a commercial decision?

"Ngai Tahu chairman Mark Solomon said the iwi was "strongly supportive" of Aorangi School.

"Ngai Tahu has fewer fluent reo speakers than other iwi and so it is concerning when we hear that a school like Aorangi School in Christchurch, with its bilingual unit, may be shut down. We have therefore been proactive in support of the school and have held discussions with the Government and other people of influence."

That sounds like a bit more than a commercial decision to me - I hope they are keeping an arms-length seperation especially regarding the outcomes that they want to receive. You see, a commercial decision is different to a decision to help an organisation which is helping our people become more educated and more knowledgeable around Ngai Tahutanga - IMO


Anonymous said...

I recently posted on PPPs and this is a good example. The government will transfer the risk to Ngai Tahu who will have to build and maintain the building for a period of probably around 25 years. The school will lease the building. It is a commercial decision and it is wrong. Ngai Tahu have no business in this space. The bilingual unit is a red herring and has no bearing on this commercial decision. The evidence on PPPs and espeically education is still mixed. Done well it can be excellent, done badly and the shame will not be on the so called commercial arm of Ngai Tahu-it will be on the tribe and believe 25 years is a long time to carry risk to your mana-for a monetary return today.

Marty Mars said...

Yes anon very good points but who is driving this? As a commercial decision it doesn't make sense. More money can be made from other initiatives. Has the commercial aspect been added to justify or fill out the reasons for getting involved.

The risk is very important and thank you for raising the issue. The iwi will take on the risk, for what? I'd certainly like to see the risk analysis on this, and not just the financial risk but the risk to mana.

During difficult economic times where our people are struggling and getting made redundant. 13% maori unemployment at the moment - and we hear about protecting the putea and not spending it, how does this fit in?

Anonymous said...

Na te aha, Ma te Tangata Maori e tautoko ki te tangata Maori??
why should it fall to the Maori peole to help out themselves? That does not make sense at first read, but as tax paying New Zealand citezens Maori as well as pakeha should be provided with their base needs (like education in our example) from their government not commercially or otherwise driven private enterpises.
Why should the Ngai Tahu Holdings group do for Maori what the NZ Government should be doing?

I beleive their mandate is to support Maori in areas where the government does not reach, and here we have an example of the government pulling back and placing an undue burden on a Maori owned corporation that has worked hard to gain status and power in the NZ political and economic environment.

Seems to me that the Government is giving with one hand and taking with the other.