This Frontline report looks at kura kaupapa, which began in Aotearoa in 1981. The Māori language immersion schools were a response to a mainstream education system that was failing many Māori. An act of language preservation and cultural empowerment, the movement began with kōhanga reo (Māori language preschools), followed by full immersion primary schools, and later high schools. Pita Sharples, who founded the first kura kaupapa — at Auckland's Hoana Waititi Marae — talks to reporter Ross Stevens. Sharples says the schools are a positive intervention in an education system that "has failed our children".
The aim of the kura kaupapa Māori is not only the teaching of the Māori language, but to provide an education for Māori that is by Māori, for Māori and in Māori.– Reporter Ross Stevens