Māori success contributes to whānau, hapū, iwi and to the greater good of the country. Schools have a pivotal role in expressing the expectations of the learning relationship. These relationships, based on an understanding of the student and their capabilities, are purposeful and focused on academic achievement.
There are some parents who know already what they want and they demand, you know that their kids achieve. And there are other parents who don't know what they want, and don't demand anything of their kids except go to school. Because that is the law, you have to go to school. And those kids are not really given much direction from home. And so they set their sights pretty low. And I think it is up to the school to raise those sights and demand success from them. And demand that they set goals that are going to be useful for them in their adult life. It is going to mean that everybody in the class is going to make a contribution to society once they qualify out of that school. They are not just warming a seat, they are there for a purpose, they are going to make a contribution to society, to their families, to their hapū, iwi, to Māori society generally. But to the nation as well. And they are capable of doing it; there are lots and lots of examples already that they can do it. And so we do need to persuade students that it is not a matter of whether they are dumb or they are bright. We know that they have the potential to succeed. And so we want them to raise their sights, raise their expectations, set good goals, and then go for it.
In all my years of teaching I never....I can honestly say I never found one child, student, pupil who was what might be called 'dumb'. Never. If there were any failings it was my inability. You know and I often had to find ways around, instead of following a particular line I had to think outside the circle, and find alternative ways of reaching, of reaching that student. And they are there if you can put your mind to it. It is not easy.