Government should fund Pūhoro STEM Academy programme - National

There are concerns Maori students aren't being given a chance at some school subjects.

The Ministry of Education will not fund the Pūhoro STEM Academy programme which encourages students into science and maths careers.

"We had not budgeted to fund such a programme but are continuing to support Pūhoro, including by assisting them to connect learners in the programme with employment opportunities after schooling," Ministry of Education's Deputy Secretary of Early Learning & Student Achievement Ellen MacGregor-Reid told Stuff.

"Pūhoro is clearly worthwhile for participating students and has shown significant results for a small cohort of ākonga Māori (Māori students) in Manawatū to achieve in science."

The programme had approached the Ministry of Education for funding, but it was turned down as the Ministry had not budgeted to fund it.

The course costs around $800,000 a year to run and is currently funded through a number of sources including Te Puni Kokiri, Massey University and the Tindall Foundation.

National Maori spokesperson Jo Hayes says students will miss out.

"This Pūhoro STEM Academy is about giving Māori students an opportunity to go to areas where they can really excel in the technology and mathematical side," she told Newshub.

Ms Hayes said it was disappointing and undid a lot of hard work done by the National Party.

"National worked hard to improve Māori education achievement, there wasn't a lot more that the Government needed to do to get that up to 100 percent, they've failed."