Whakaoriori Kahui Ako lead principal Janine Devenport and MTLT Education Committee chairwoman Christine Brewster. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

ELI HILL
eli.hill@age.co.nz

A whopping $600,000 has been pledged towards an education project to be created by Wairarapa people.

Masterton Trust Lands Trust will contribute $600,000 over the next three years to fund a significant education project.

Exactly what the project will look like is still to be decided by the Wairarapa education community, however hauora and well-being would be a focus.

The funding was announced on Tuesday night at an information session for principals, boards of trustees and others involved in Wairarapa education.

It is part of a new funding allocation strategy that will start in April next year.

Trust education committee chairwoman Christine Brewster said the new approach would involve putting significant funding towards a single area of education for a bigger impact in addressing a problem or need.

“This approach of making an ‘impact investment’ will allow us to work with the local education sector to make a real difference towards the learning achievements and well-being of young people in our community.”

The project would be led by the Whakaoriori [Masterton] Kahui Ako collective of education providers, Brewster said.

“Developing this new approach has coincided with the formation of the Whakaoriori Kahui Ako, which is well placed to be our collaborative partner in this initiative.”

A governance group would be formed to manage the project with the next stage focused on creating an education initiative to be funded.

Brewster said the multi-year commitment to the funding would provide more certainty to the education community and “a greater ability to undertake a project with the scale that could provide longer term benefits”.

The trust’s funding would be available for other education activities and events, which is forecasted to be about $450,000 over the next three years.

“MTLT contributed more than $280,000 last year to support 31 different education initiatives,” Brewster said.

“Ranging from fun and engaging events such as Matharapa and Aratoi’s art education programmes to the Poi Porotiti and Nga Tama Toa leadership programmes and professional development for teachers, education has been a major focus for the trust since it was established nearly 150 years ago.”

Fernridge School principal and Whakaoriori Kāhui Ako lead principal Janine Devenport said she was “blown away” by the level of investment the trust had provided for education through the funding.

“This is amazing support for the education of the young people of our community.

“The possibilities and potential impact this funding will provide are massive and will support us in our key role of creating great kids.

“I’m really impressed in the way that Masterton Trust Lands Trust continues to provide opportunities for our tamariki to shine.”

Devenport said the focus of the special funding on hauora and well-being reflected the priority the trust and the Kahui Ako placed on this aspect of student education and achievement.

“Well-being and the hauora of students is vital to their success.

“The special funding will allow us to work collectively to support our young people and create positive learning environments where they can thrive and have every opportunity to succeed.”