07 December 2023

Upholding the rights of ākonga Māori and their whānau

The five domains of Ka Hikitia reflect key messages about what works for Māori learners and their whānau.

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Identify first

Identify first

Te Tangata: Māori are free from racism, discrimination and stigma. Remove barriers to learning, engagement, and wellbeing so that our mokopuna will flourish.

Teaching for life

Teaching for life

Te Tuakiritanga: Identity, language and culture

Ākonga Māori have a right to know and access their stories, to understand the impact of colonisation, and take action to have their truth heard.

Consider ākonga Maori right to both receive and tell counter-stories to:

  • name and expose majoritarian stories, racism, assimilation, colonisation and the trauma it has caused without compromise
  • debate forcefully
  • research relentlessly
  • write powerfully
  • speak out fearlessly
  • take action to have their truth heard
  • be activists?

It is as important for your non-Maori and ākonga Māori alike.

Consider the support you will need to put in place to ensure that ākonga Māori feel safe to speak out.

(Adapted from Teller of Stories, Ann Milne, English in Aoteraroa, July 2020, NZATE.)

The impact of high expectations

The impact of high expectations

Te Kanorautanga: Recognise and provide for Māori diversity.

Tararua College demonstrate the impact of culturally rich pathways.

Understand what matters

Understand what matters

Te Whānau: Respond to ākonga Māori within the context of their whānau.

Actions we can take.

Our kaiako:

  • know me as an individual, and how I am part of my whānau, hapū, iwi, and community
  • treat me, my peers and our whānau fairly and with respect
  • respect our culture
  • pronounce Māori names well, if not perfectly
  • know about the local tikanga
  • use te reo Māori as they teach, in hui and in events and encourage us to speak Māori if we want
  • make space for us to bring our Māori knowledge to planning and problem solving
  • know the value of interdependence. The power of the collective and working together.

Source: Adapted from Tātaiako: cultural competencies for teachers of māori learners (opens in a new tab/window)

Reflective questions

Reflective questions

Te Rangatiratanga: Support Māori to exercise their authority and agency.

Consider your responses to these questions.

What actions do they inspire?

  • How do I support Māori to make decisions about the education of ākonga Māori?
  • How do I make way and create opportunities for Māori to be Māori?
  • What actions can I take to deepen my understanding of the history of Aotearoa New Zealand and Te Tiriti o Waitangi?
  • How do I describe how the Treaty of Waitangi influences my practice?
  • How do I amplify Māori voice, knowledge, history, and mana in both what I teach and how I teach?
  • How do I establish and sustain equitable relationships with mana whenua, ākonga Māori, and their whānau?

Useful resources

Useful resources

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Tātaiako: Cultural competencies for teachers of ākonga Māori

Read time: 29 min

Tātaiako is a starting point for schools and early childhood education (ECE) services developing cultural competence.

Publisher: Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand

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Kia eke panuku: A Treaty of Waitangi perspective

Read time: 7 min

This document is part of the Voices from Kia Eke Panuku series, to support schools on their Kia Eke Panuku journey.

Publisher: Poutama Pounamu

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He manu kai matauranga: He tirohanga Māori – Education matters to me: Experiences of tamariki and rangatahi Māori detailed report 1 of 6

Read time: 30 min

This report belongs to a series that supports Education matters to me: Key Insights. A starting point for the Statement of National Education and Learning Priorities, released January 2018. It describes the experiences of children and young people; especially what was working well and how things could be better for them.

Publisher: The Office of the Children’s Commissioner

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The cultural self-review

This book provides a structure and process that kaiako can use to explore how well they cater for ākonga Māori, including those with special needs.

Publisher: NZCER Press

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Next steps

More suggestions for implementing the strategy “Developing cultural capability”:

Return to the guide “Supporting ākonga Māori”