Māori students in the far north will benefit from major building upgrades worth $19 million. The two new projects will bring flexible teaching spaces to enable a modern learning environment and technology that will help connect students beyond their remote locations.
The first project, worth $12.4 million, will see Te Kura Kaupapa o Te Tonga o Hokianga move from its Whirinaki site to a new site in Koutu Point, Hokianga.
The current Whirinaki site often floods, is undersized and lacks the right resources for specialist learning facilities.
The new site, due to begin construction in late 2017, will be able to cater for 200 students. The new kura will include new classrooms, library, administration, gym and multipurpose space and remote learning suite.
The second project, worth $6.9 million, involves revitalising Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Taumarere. It will be redeveloped to include better education resources through new buildings, upgrades and extensions.
Originally built for junior students, the 22-year-old kura then accommodated students of all years. As a result, the kura needed an upgrade.
The upgrade will include specialist teaching areas for technology, science, art and design, a gym and cultural space for its new wharekura status.
Senior students will benefit from permanent spaces through existing building conversion, while junior students will receive five new permanent learning spaces.
The upgrades will help the kura grow in future years - and there has already been a jump in student numbers.
Both kura will include remote learning areas that can allow for videoconferencing or other technology. This will allow specialist teachers who live remotely to engage with the kura.