“Te ohonga ake i taku moemoea, ko te puawaitanga o nga whakaaro”
“Dreams become reality when we take action”
In the past the future for people who lived in this community was very clearly defined and much the same in many places around the country, Moerewa as a community was built around industry (appendix: clipping) and most of our people worked in the service industries i.e. AFFCO, The Dairy Company & NZ Rail etc, so education at that time was not perceived a priority for many whanau, many by form 4 had moved into all the service industries.
In the early 1980’s the world changed for us, and we found ourselves redundant, and unemployed because of closures and downsizing of companies and services (they called it rationalization) the human face of that, was devastating, what was once a strong and vibrant community which had been predicted to be the industrial centre of the north, came to resemble a picture out of some urban ghetto, the Bronx…. NZ style.
What did that look like in the area of education, well for the first time we began to see how education was not working with a large number of our children, in the past we could hide the fact because most of our people went into the industries, but it wasn’t hidden anymore, escalating social problems, caused by drugs, alcohol, violence, crime and more to the point a lack of hope for a better future, for our whanau.
We realized that at school there was a drafting process happening, some went on to University and professions and others into the industries the problem with that was many of the industries had left and downsized. What that did was to force many people to create a subculture built around growing and selling of drugs and the black market around stolen goods. For us in this community it meant a real loss of control, of deciding or determining what our futures looked like.
We are not looking at Education in isolation from any other community issue, for the last 8 years we have been tackling community infrastructure development with our local council, we have run community festivals, we run a homework centre, After school care & recreation program, Holiday programs, we have created a number of successful community enterprises and new business’s, we have run adult education courses, from Webpage Design courses to Drivers license courses, and many more.
We are a key driver nationally in the revival of Maori Arts and Enterprise. We have been featured in a number of glossy magazines as a town that has gone to hell and back, and has managed to turn itself around to the point that it is now featured as a high end tourism product to the Cruise ship market. (See attached copy of the Strategic Development Plan for Moerewa) We are challenging all who play a part in our community’s wellbeing to new levels of accountability for the resource that they are putting into our community.
We see education as a key player in long term community development and community growth, and see education as a motivator for great community change because we all have one thing in common….
Many years ago we realized education was a major key to breaking cycles, and as a community got alongside the schools, to run programs at school, to work with whanau, to run parenting programs, and play our part on Boards of Trustees etc. The realization for us was that we were only tweaking around the edges, and that the change that was needed was total.
“The biggest risk that we see to this process, is that the ministry is not courageous enough to make significantly strong move into a different style of Education for our children and our whanau”
In the world that we live in, being a rural school does not preclude that you cannot get the highest level of learning, (using already available in Moerewa, high speed internet connections) we can get the very best of information and learning online from a number of places NZ wide if not globally.