The Learning Region

We are often asked why we have prioritised the work we do in the education space, and the answer is simple - education in our region, from the youngest learner to the highest level, is crucial to changing our long-term economic performance.

Our goal, is not to set the direction of education in our region, but to:

  • Understand and how we can support our school leaders and teachers.
  • Assist in the nurturing of a healthy workforce that can think critically and work together.
  • Enable our community to move ahead with confidence as a city focussed on our young learners.

In doing this we will create a more positive, prosperous and attractive community – not just a more positive and vibrant business community, but a population with confidence in their futures.

At the moment, we have around 13,000 children aged between 0 and 17 living in the Gisborne region. If we accept Ministry of Social Development statistics, one in four Gisborne children meet three or more of the at risk indicators defined by the Ministry of Social Development. So, of those, 9,750 are fine. However, we have 3,250 kids living:

  • In poverty.
  • In overcrowded homes.
  • In homes that are damp, cold or difficult to heat.
  • With limited access to facilities such as shops, schools, post shops, libraries, and medical services.
  • In homes with family suffering poor mental or physical health.
  • In isolation.
  • With someone who has been the victim of crime in last 12 months.
  • With someone who has been the victim of discrimination in last 12 months.

Those statistics are staggering and clearly require intervention on a number of levels. But, we need to understand them and we need to understand how to respond to those kids so that we can give them a world-class education.

We absolutely believe that the way forward needs to be developed as a community of future leaders and that those decisions need to be made strategically, in a way that is:

  • Forward focussed.
  • Well planned.
  • Transparent.

In the education space, we believe we all have a responsibility to:

  1. Support the leadership capacity of our school leaders and encouraging them to work together.
  2. Support the capacity of our teaching fraternity and their ability to create a professional learning community with a growth mindset.
  3. Recognise the power that iwi have in the education space to support rangatahi through their educational journey and the potential iwi have to make a massive positive difference in the lives of youth through education.