William Watson Bird (right) is shown next to Iriwhiro, a kaumātua from Te Whāiti in Te Urewera. Bird was appointed organising teacher in the native schools service in 1900. He worked under James Pope, the inspector of native schools, who retired in 1902. Bird succeeded Pope and was the inspector of native schools from 1903 to 1913, and senior inspector from 1913 to 1930. He visited more than 100 native schools each year. Bird supported assimilation and was a promoter of English-language teaching within native schools. Like James Pope and George Hogben, the director of education, he believed that native schools should teach technical and manual courses as well as academic ones.
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