The establishment of Kohanga Reo, Māori-language pre-schools triggered a series of initiatives in schooling and education by Māori, initially outside of the mainstream education system. The need for Māori language elementary schools arose when parents were concerned that their children who had finished Kohanga Reo quickly lost their language once they started at mainstream elementary schools. Thus Kura Kaupapa Māori are part of an series of Māori-led initiatives aimed at strengthening the language, affirming cultural identity, and encouraging community involvement (G Smith 2003:8-11).
Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Hoani Waititi, Henderson, West Auckland is generally credited as being the first Kura Kaupapa Maori to be established in 1985. The Kura Kaupapa Maori movement is a term commonly used to describe parents and supporters of Kura Kaupapa Maori.The term emerged when the first kura was established.
In 1987 a working party was established to investigate an alternative schooling modelthat would better meet the aspirations of Maori communities in New Zealand. The working party consisted of Dr Katerina Mataira, Dr Pita Sharples, Dr Graham Smith, Dr Linda Smith, Cathy Dewes, Tuki Nepe, Rahera Shortland, Pen Bird and Toni Waho. The working party adopted Te Aho Matua as being the foundation set of principles that guide the operations of a Kura Kaupapa Maori.
Kura Kaupapa Maori originate from humble beginnings. It took 5 years from the first Kura Kaupapa Maori to be established for the government to begin funding kura kaupapa Maori. In the early years, from 1985 to 1995, almost all Kura Kaupapa Maori were accommodated at some stage in a place or venue that accommodate children for little or no rent. Parents fundraised to resource Kura Kaupapa Maori until the government officially recognised and funded the school. Kura acknowledge two anniversary dates, some times three. The date in which the kura first established itself, and the date it became an official school in New Zealand, such as Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Te Kotuku in Te Atatu, Auckland. This kura was established by parents in 1993 and was officially recongised as a state school in 2002. The kura does not expect to be in permanent school premises until 2010 (17 years later after being established.)
On 16 July 1999, the Education (Te Aho Matua) Amendment Act 1999, amended Section 155 of the Education Act 1989. Maori communities wanted the unique charater of Kura Kaupapa Maori to be protected in law. At the request of Te Runanga Nui, the Minister of Maori Affairs and associate Miniter of Education Hon. Tau Henare was the Minister responsible for the Education (Te Aho Matua) Amendment Act becoming a statue in New Zealand. The Te Aho Matua amendment made it a requirement that Kura Kaupapa Maori adhere to the principles of Te Aho Matua. The amendment recognised Te Runanga Nui o nga Kura Kaupapa Maori as the kaitiaki (guardians, caretakers and architects), the most suitable body responsible for determining the content of Te Aho Matua, and for ensuring that it is not changed to the detriment of Maori.
According to Graham Smith, the charter "provides the guidelines for excellence in Maori, that is, what a good Maori education should entail. It also acknowledges Pakeha culture and skills required by Maori children to participate fully and at every level in modern New Zealand society" (G Smith 2003:10).
Written in the Māori language, Te Aho Matua o nga Kura Kaupapa Maori are the principles Kura Kaupapa Maori are required to adhere to. The principles are underpinned by Maori values, beliefs and customs. On Thursday 21st January 2008, Te Aho Matua along with an explanation in English was published in the New Zealand Gazette by Hon. Parekura Horomia When Te Aho Matua was introduced into parliament to become legislated, an English explanation was written by Dr Katerina Mataira.
Te Aho Matua has six sections:
In 1993, Uru Gardiner, the principal of Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Ati Hau Nui A Paparangi asked key architects of Kura Kaupapa Māori to visit Wanganui. Her kura whanau (parents and extended family of the school community) wanted to seek advice on good practise for establishing a kura kaupapa Maori. When Maori communities from around New Zealand learnt of this hui (gathering) they asked if they could attend. Consequently, Te Runanga Nui o Nga Kura Kaupapa Maori o Aotearoa, commonly known as Te Runanga Nui was established in 1993 at Kawhaiki marae on the Whanganui river. At the hui (gathering) Dr Pita Sharples became the inaugural Tumuaki (president) of Te Runanga Nui.
Te Runanga Nui is the national collective body of Kura Kaupapa Māori Te Aho Matua communities. An incoporated society, the organisation holds its Annual General meeting, in different locations throughout New Zealand, usually on the last weekend of March each year. Meetings are mostly conducted in Māori. The purpose of the organisation is to support Kura Kaupapa Māori whanau (communities that consist of parents and extended family members) realise their aspirations for their schools. They engage in discussions and negotiations with the government, Ministry of Education, the Education Review Office and other organisations who have a vested interest in Kura Kaupapa Maori.
The organisation is split up into ten geographaic regions, and kura kaupapa Maori belong to a particular region. At its Annual General meeting, each region elects a mangai (representative) who becomes a member of the Te Runanga Whaiti (Executive Committee). Two regions like Tamaki Makaurau (Auckland) and Te Upoko o te Ika (Lower North island) have two mangai. Te Runanga Whaiti meets several times of the year, usually in Auckland to discuss issues affecting kura kaupapa maori. The issues can vary. The organisation also elects a Tumuaki (president) at its AGM. The current Tumuaki is Hone Mutu. The organisation has a small secretariat. The current kaitakawaenga (co-ordinator) is Arapine Walker and is supported by Te Tari Tautoko (Support Team).
The nine geographical regions of Te Runanga Nui are Te Hiku (Northland), Tāmaki-makau-rau (Auckland), Tainui (Waikato), Mataatua (Bay of Plenty), Te Puku (Central North Island), Tai-rāwhiti (East Coast), Taranaki, Te Ati Hau Nui A Paparangi (South Taranaki), Te Upoko o te Ika (Wellington), and Te Waka (South Island).
Former tumuaki (presidents or chairpersons) of the Runanga Nui were: Dr Pita Sharples; Bert McLean, Cathy Dewes, Arni Wainui and Hohepa Campbell. The current tumuaki is Hone Mutu.
In 2001, the Ministry of Education negotiated a formal process for establishing new Kura with Te Runanga Nui. The process now requires an applicant Kura whanau to apply. Once the Minister of Education is satified with the application, a Kura Tuakana is assigned to support and mentor the applicant. Only selected Kura Kaupapa Maori can become a Kura Tuakana and must be able to demonstrate their ability to mentor the Kura teina.
Like other state schools, the governing body is required to develop and adopt a school charter, strategic plan and annual plan. Policies also are developed to support the whanau and management to run the day to day affairs of the school.
|Year||Legal Name||Location||Te Runanga Nui region||Class|
|1990||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Hoani Waititi||Henderson, West Auckland||Tamaki Makaurau||Composite|
|1990||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Waipereira||Kelston, West Auckland||Tamaki Makaurau||Primary|
|1990||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Maungarongo||Mt Albert, Auckland||Tamaki Makaurau||Primary|
|1990||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Mangere||Mangere, Auckland||Tamaki Makaurau||Composite|
|1990||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Manawatu||Palmerston North||Te Upoko o te Ika||Primary|
|1990||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ruamata||Rotorua||Te Runanga Nui region||Composite|
|1990||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Piripono Te Kura Whakahou ki Otara||Otara, South Auckland||Tamaki Makaurau||Primary|
|1991||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Wairarapa||Masterton||Te Upoko o te Ika||Primary|
|1991||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Rito||Otaki||Te Upoko o te Ika||Composite|
|1991||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Oparure||Oparure, Te Kuiti||Tainui||Primary|
|1991||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Whakapumau i Te Reo Tuturu o Waitaha||Christchurch||Te Waka||Composite|
|1991||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Atihau-Nui-A-Paparangi||Whanganui||Te Atihau-Nui-A-Paparangi||Primary|
|1991||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Arowhenua||Invercargill||Te Waha||Composite|
|1992||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ruatoki||Ruatoki||Te Runanga Nui region||Class|
|1993||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Kaikohe||Kaikohe||Te Runanga Nui region||Composite|
|1993||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Puau Te Moananui-A-Kiwa||Glen Innes, Auckland||Tamaki Makaurau||Restricted Composite|
|1993||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Manurewa||Manurewa, South Auckland||Tamaki Makaurau||Primary|
|1993||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Whakarewa I Te Reo Ki Tuwharetoa||Taupo||Te Puku||Composite|
|1993||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Nga Taonga Tuturu o Tokomaru||Tokomaru Bay, East Coast||Te Tai Rawhiti||Primary|
|1993||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Bernard Fergusson||Ngaruawahia||Tainui||not sure|
|1993||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Ara Rima||Hamilton||Tainui||not sure|
|1993||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Otepou||Tauranga||Te Runanga Nui region||Primary|
|1993||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Mangatuna||Tolaga Bay||Te Tairawhiti||Primary|
|1994||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Rangiawhia||Kaitaia||Te Hiku||Primary|
|1994||Te Piipiinga Kakano Mai Rangiatea||New Plymouth||Taranaki||Primary|
|1994||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Rangiawhia||Kaitaia||Te Runanga Nui region||Class|
|1994||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Tamaki Nui A Rua||Dannevirke, Hawkes Bay||Te Upoko o te Ika||Composite|
|1994||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Nga Mokopuna||Seatoun, Wellington||Te Upoko o te Ika||Composite|
|1994||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Rakaumanga||Huntly||Tainui||Composite|
|1995||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Mana Tamariki||Palmerston North||Upoko o te Ika||Composite|
|1995||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Rawhitiroa||Whangarei||Te Hiku||Composite|
|1995||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Toku Mapihi Maurea||Hamilton||Tainui||Primary|
|1995||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Koutu||Rotorua||Te Puku||Composite|
|1995||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Tamarongo||Taranaki||Taranaki||Primary|
|1995||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Huiarau||Murupara||Te Runanga Nui region||not sure|
|1995||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Matahi||Waimana||Te Runanga Nui region||not sure|
|1995||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Waiohau||Waiohau, Whakatane||Te Runanga Nui region||Class|
|1995||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Waioeka||Waioeka||Te Runanga Nui region||Class|
|1996||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Rakipaewhenua||Mairangi Bay, Auckland||Tamaki Makaurau||Primary|
|1996||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Waiu o Ngati Porou||Ruatoria||Te Runanga Nui region||Composite|
|1996||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Nga Uri a Maui||Gisborne||Te Tairawhiti||Primary|
|1996||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Wananga Whare Tapere o Takitimu||Hastings||Te Upoko o te Ika||not sure|
|1996||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Ara Whanui||Lower Hutt, Wellington||Te Upoko o te Ika||not sure|
|1996||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Waipiro||Waipiro Bay, East Coast||Te Tairawhiti||Primary|
|1996||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Tapere Nui A Whatonga||Rangitukia||Te Runanga Nui region||Class|
|1996||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Rotoiti||Rotorua||Te Puku||Primary|
|1996||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Maraenui||Maraenui||Te Runanga Nui region||Class|
|1996||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Matai||Te Puke||Te Runanga Nui region||Primary|
|1996||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Harataunga||Kennedy Bay, Coromandel||Tainui||Primary|
|1997||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Taumarere||Kawakawa||Te Hiku||Primary|
|1997||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Whakawatea||Hamilton||Tainui||not sure|
|1997||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngati Kahungunu Ki Te Wairoa||Wairoa||Te Upoko o te Ika||Composite|
|1997||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngati Rangi||Ohakune||Te Ati-Hau-Nui-A-Paparangi||Primary|
|1997||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Whanau Tahi||Christchurch||Te Waka||Composite|
|1998||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngati Ruanui||Hawera||Taranaki||not sure|
|1998||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngati Kahungunu Ki Heretaunga||Hastings, Hawkes Bay||Te Upoko o te Ika||Composite|
|1998||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Tupoho||Wanganui||Te Ati-Hau-Nui-A-Paparangi||Composite|
|1998||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Rangianiwaniwa||Kaitaia||Te Hiku||Composite|
|1998||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Otepoti||Dunedin||Te Waka||Primary|
|1998||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Puaha o Waikato||Tuakau/ Port Waikato||Tainui||Primary|
|2001||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori O Te Ara Hou||Napier||Te Upoko o te Ika||Composite|
|2002||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Kotuku||Te Atatu, Auckland||Tamaki Makaurau||Primary|
|2003||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Kawakawa Mai Tawhiti||Hicks Bay, East Coast||Te Tairawhiti||Primary|
|2003||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Hiringa||Tokoroa||Te Puku||not sure|
|2005||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Whangaroa||Matauri Bay||Te Hiku||not sure|
|2005||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Tonga o Hokianga||South Hokianga||Te Hiku||Primary|
|2005||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Hurungaterangi||Rotorua||Te Puku||Primary|
|2005||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Pukemiro||Kaitaia||Te Hiku||not sure|
|2006||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Waiuku||Waiuku||Tamaki Makaurau||Primary|
|2007||Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Rau Aroha||Matamata||Tainui||Composite|