Enabling, encouraging or empowering?: Maori members on school boards of trustees

Patricia Maringi and Gina Johnston
Vol 11, Number 2, p.52
In 1989 a number of changes were made to the New Zealand education system which facilitated Maori 'access' and 'participation' in the decision making processes governing schools. Central to these processes were beliefs operating on the premise that Maori would have 'considerably more scope then they have at present to exercise a fair measure of influence over their children's education' (ibid: 66). As a consequence of the interpretations made through Tomorrow's Schools (1988), the increased scope for influence, access and participation has resulted in Maori individuals being eligible for membership to School Boards of Trustees. This critique in relation to School Boards of Trustees will focus on three basic analytical concepts: 'Enabling', 'Encouraging' and 'Empowering'. The question which will be asked of the reforms then is: Are Maori interests and aspirations in the new education system enabled, encouraged and empowered by the provisions made?