As for all New Zealand, education for the Maori is compulsory up to the age of 15 years. Although this is a great advance in the battle for literacy there are still certain weaknesses. Regular attendance at school is not always encouraged by parents when families are large and wages are high and easily obtained. Offsetting this to some extent is the fact that where a Maori child's home environment is stable (no overcrowding, adequate income, no division of parental control) much of the European competitive instinct for examination success impresses itself upon him too. On the whole, however, Maori morale and performance appear to be low. It is only slowly being realised by the Maori that the immature and poorly equipped early school leaver, who so often becomes a fickle employee, remains a loss economically and socially to the community. In an increasing population with a very rapidly increasing Maori minority, this social maladjustment may contribute much to racial misunderstandings and perpetuate inequalities. For this reason a Maori Education Foundation Fund was established in 1961 to help the Maori to take greater advantage of the educational facilities which New Zealand offers than has been the case in the past.
by Ian Hugh Kawharu, M.A.(CANTAB.), B.SC.(N.Z.), B.LITT., D.PHIL.(OXON.), F.A.O. Research Fellow, University of Auckland.
- Maori-European Standards of Health, Department of Health (1960)
- Report on the Department of Maori Affairs, Hunn, J. K. (1960)
- A Survey of New Zealand Population, Ministry of Works (1960)
- Maori Youth, Ausubel, D. P. (1961).