He Kura Māori, he Kura Hāhi
Church initiated and operated Māori secondary boarding schools have existed in Aotearoa in various forms since the arrival of the missionaries in the early 19th century. Unfortunately, these schools have contributed to the colonization process, as they have in many other parts of the world, accelerating assimilation of the Indigenous people and the rapid decline of the Indigenous language, in this case, te reo Māori (Māori language). One of the Church boarding schools primary roles in Aotearoa is to act as a vehicle for the proliferation of Christian beliefs. As a result many educationalists have proposed that the “civilizing” intentions of the missionaries was to colonise Māori children. However, I propose that the amalgamation of both the Church schools and Māori communities created a hybrid of Māori culture; a Māori Catholic culture. As a result I propose that these schools, since their inception, have contributed significantly to the development of Māori society, particularly in the production of dynamic Māori leaders who have had a compelling influence on their Māori communities and Māori society and in some instances on the nation state. Therefore, this paper will examine the development of Māori leadership within the Church secondary boarding schools. It will discuss the way in which these schools have, or have not, responded to the constantly changing social and political conditions, in which they exist. The ability to respond to these changes determines the type of leadership that is produced and how effective it is. Hato Paora College, a Catholic Māori boy’s school in Feilding, will be used as an example of this type of schooling. The way in which it has attempted to adapt to meet the social, educational and cultural needs, of its students and their communities in producing effective Māori leaders will be reviewed.
Conference: World Indigenous Peoples' Conference on Education, Hamilton, Aotearoa/New Zealand
Keywords: Māori; Maori; Catholic; education; leadership; boarding schools; Māori boarding schools; Hato Paora College
Research Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)