Wānanga at Ōrongomai Marae

Kia ora and welcome to Poutama Pounamu

Promoting contexts for change where equity, excellence and belonging can be realised.

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Waananga V4

Wānanga venues

Posted on 11 February, 2020


The initiating wānanga for the Blended Learning have been confirmed

To wānanga is to engage with others to advance a shared kaupapa; learning with and through each other. The experience aims to set a path for ongoing and enduring conversations with others.

The Blended Learning wānanga dates and venues have now been confirmed.
It's still not too late to join us.

  • South Island
    9.30am Thursday 20th February to 3.00pm Friday 21st February 2020
    Te Awhina Marae, Motueka
  • Central North Island
    9.30am Monday 24th February to 3.00pm Tuesday 25th February 2020
    Orongomai Marae, Upper Hutt
  • North Island (Northern)
    9.30am Thursday 27th February to 3.00pm Friday 28th February 2020
    Waikari Marae, Mount Maunganui

For more information, email:

  • Elizabeth Eley: elizabeth.eley@waikato.ac.nz
  • David Copeland: david.copeland@waikato.ac.nz
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Effecting Change 7

Effecting Change

Posted on 26 January, 2020


Realising the promise of equity, excellence and belonging

The fourth cohort of educators to participate in Poutama Pounamu’s Blended Learning programme will commence their engagement by attending a Wānanga in late February. This research-based programme of engagement supports the understanding and implementation of Cultural Relationships for Responsive Pedagogy.

Kāhui Ako and individual Early Childhood Centres, schools and organisations are currently enrolling in the revised course that will engage them in online interaction with Poutama Pounamu and three regional Wānanga over the next twelve months.

Course Director Professor Mere Berryman says the inclusion of a third wānanga in the programme recognises the value participants placed on those mana whenua hosted events but it was also time to revisit the course content.

"So much has happened in the last two years we have to acknowledge and bring to the table; there are more voices calling more loudly for change but also a growing body of evidence of what works; of what makes the biggest difference for Māori learners and their whānau."

Participants who have already experienced the Blended Learning approach, report a perspective shift and have made changes in their personal practice a priority;

"The conversations conducted at the Wānanga had a profound moral effect on me which resulted in a strong personal resolve to be more agentic. I knew my own teaching practice was not as culturally inclusive as I had previously let myself believe and that I had important mahi to do."
- Classroom Teacher

For Kāhui Ako, Blended Learning has provided the impetus for necessary conversations that were not happening previously. A Kāhui Ako leader explains:

"I think the blended e-learning is critical. We had some that were ready to grab it and run with it, and so by making those people kaiwhakaako who would take on a group of learners just helped that spreading across all our community. Effectively all of a sudden you’ve got a hundred people who are in ākonga groups meeting on a regular basis to talk about this stuff.

Whereas before they might talk behind closed doors, and might talk with someone that has a similar opinion, now all of a sudden we’re in a mixed group, anything and everything is on the table and we’re having a conversation about racism."

Activating the agency of educators to effect change begins with understanding why change is necessary but, once consciousness is raised, knowing exactly what cultural practices and what structural processes will create more inclusive and responsive learning environments is key.

"Blended Learning is based on years of research but also it’s so well crafted - the way the information is organised, and the activities and reflections that you do… the modules seem to come in a really timely fashion...the module we’re looking at is ‘Evidence to accelerate’. You start getting specific strategies and pedagogy and all the kind of things that you need to be doing to do this justice."
- Across School Teacher

The first Blended Learning course for 2020 begins with a South Island Wānanga on the 20th and 21st of February, with a North Island Wānanga following on the 24th and 25th of February 2020.

For more information about the course, visit the e-learning section of the Poutama Pounamu website.

For support with enrolling or if you have any questions, contact team members:

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News Dec19 1

Not one generation more!

Posted on 11 December, 2019


Leaders take up the challenge

At the busiest time of the year, nearly 40 school and community leaders from throughout the North Island gathered to wānanga at Pukemokimoki Marae in Napier.

The kaupapa was explicit, to examine models of leadership proven to re-vision and decolonise education. The sense of urgency this group brought to their deliberations was encapsulated in a single phrase 'Not one Generation more!’.

On the first day, Mere Berryman provided the group with critical perspectives with which to challenge the biases and prejudices that run through our society, schools and the sector generally.

She encouraged those present to call it what it is and respond with reformed structures, processes and behaviours to restore equity for Māori and for all.

Tim White and Ngahina Transom spoke of the cultural and structural shift occurring simultaneously at Frimley Primary School. Staff and students are, together, learning te reo Māori and tikanga underpinned by cultural relationships and experiences. Whole staff participation in Poutama Pounamu’s Blended Learning has led to new thinking and new conversations, preparing the way for their intensive across school place-based curriculum.

Louise Anaru shared how a potential-framed vision ‘Student success is the only option’ became real for staff and students through not only staff commitment but also deliberate power-sharing with the Flaxmere community. Their ongoing and enduring conversations with students, family and whānau have seen success redefined in terms of identity, culture and wellbeing.

After dinner on the first night, Te Kura Reo Rua o Maraenui Tumuaki Chris Worsley helped facilitate a discussion about individual acts of leadership.

The group concluded that while leadership comes in all shapes and forms, at its core it is relational and those relationships are mana ōrite in nature, reciprocal acts of trust, respect and support. There was also an acknowledgement that if we, in education, do not lead social justice for children and young people who will?

Over the two days participants were fed and well looked after by students from William Colenso College. The College enjoys a close association with Pukemokimoki Marae. Some of the young people joined activities on the second day.

Chris Grinter of Rotorua Boys High School, and Daniel Murfitt of William Colenso, spoke on the Friday. Both, with Louise Anaru, are principals of Te Kotahitanga Phase 5 schools that have not only sustained but surpassed the social, cultural and academic shifts they achieved at that time.

Chris spoke of the humility required to accept when others need to lead the change and when it is our role; of the need to be constantly and critically challenging what is actually happening; of leading an evidence informed review of the impacts of our actions.

Daniel spoke of working with his team to realise that those things that have been socially constructed can and must be socially reconstructed in new and emancipatory ways. Both reinforced what others had said about working with Māori as critical allies through and with whānau, and that change was always greater than a few individuals, it required spreading a new conversation of potential and mutual benefit to the community.

Elizabeth Eley provided an analysis of change models that resonated with the group. She reminded us to be mindful of what we are leading – to a more efficient version of the status quo, to a model of ‘fixing’ those who don’t fit or towards social transformation.

The individuals attending didn’t need convincing that widespread reform is required; their commitment to the kaupapa is visible in actions already taken.

What the wānanga provided was insights into the background to leadership decisions and actions that only those who have first-hand experience of what has worked, what didn’t work and why, can provide and offer guidance.

Partnership, Participation and Protection is promised to all under the Treaty. What will our legacy be from leading the learning in schools for tamariki and whānau of Aotearoa New Zealand?

Not one generation more! – Mere Berryman

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Pukemokimoki Marae 1

Join the Leaders Wānanga

Posted on 05 November, 2019


Hawkes' Bay wānanga

Leading school reform: Policy to Practice

A wānanga for school and Kāhui Ako leaders.

10am, 28 November – 2pm, 29 November 2019
Pukemokimoki Marae, Napier

  • Leadership for Māori to enjoy and achieve educational success as Māori
  • Sustaining educational reform
  • Collaborating with community for students’ success and localised curriculum

This wānanga is an opportunity to learn with and from other leaders from secondary, primary schools, and Early Childhood Education centres.

Over the two-day wānanga, participants will hear from a range of speakers and engage in critical conversations with other school leaders about these themes or other issues that may be challenging them.

Speakers include:

  • Professor Mere Berryman ONZM,
    Director, Poutama Pounamu, University of Waikato

  • Chris Grinter, Principal of Rotorua Boys’ High School
  • Louise Anaru, Principal of Flaxmere College
  • Daniel Murfitt, Principal of William Colenso College
    These schools were all Phase 5 Te Kotahitanga schools and have been recent recipients of the Prime Minister’s Education Excellence – Supreme Award or category winners over more than one year.
  • Tim White and Ngahina Transom, Principal and Deputy Principal of Frimley School

  • Dr Lesley Rameka, University of Waikato (tbc)
    A member of the writing team for Te Whāriki, 2017.

Each school and centre will be provided with a suite of resources for their ongoing use.

Pukemokimoki Marae
191 Riverbend Road
Onekawa, Napier 4110.

Accommodation and meals
Marae style.
Please bring own bedding.

All meals provided on marae.
Please advise of any allergies.

Pōwhiri: 10am Thursday 28th November
Poroaki: 2pm Friday 29th November

For schools, centres and kāhui ako with PLD contracts with Poutama Pounamu:
For each group of up to 4 people - 18 hours from existing PLD contracts.

For schools, centres and kāhui ako without PLD contracts with Poutama Pounamu:
For each participant:$1200

Costs include all wānanga speakers and materials; facilitated learning conversations with other leaders, resources for each institution; marae accommodation; all meals.


Elizabeth Eley: eley@waikato.ac.nz
or Mere Berryman: mere.berryman@waikato.ac.nz

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Hei Marae Cover Pic 2 1

Confronting colonisation

Posted on 19 August, 2019


Moving from awareness to action

The leadership of the Te Puke Kāhui Ako worked closely with Poutama Pounamu to plan their second Blended Learning Wānanga at Hei Marae.

The intent of any wānanga is that we each bring our kete of knowledge to learn with, through and from each other. If the planning were to model the theme of this Wānanga, Decolonising education spaces for equity, excellence and belonging, it was especially important the wānanga ran along lines that ensured there was space for all contributions, especially for the voices in Aotearoa that have not have not always been heard or listened to.

On the Sunday morning, after being welcomed back by Uncle Tame and Auntie Punohu, everyone headed to the summit of Te Rae o Papamoa overlooking the massive complex of pa sites and coastal plains where local tribes had flourished in pre-colonial Aotearoa.

Historian Whare Rahiri pointed out the features of the whenua and spoke of what life was like for the Waitaha people before, and after the Invasion of the Waikato. Declared by the Crown to be ‘unsurrendered rebels’ because of their links to the Kingitanga, some 7,000 tribal members were driven from their homes and their lands confiscated and sold.

Despite repeated attempts to reverse this injustice, an inevitable and inter-generational decline in the wellbeing of Waitaha iwi began.

To better understand the enduring legacy of this devastation, Whare led an exploration of some te ao Māori concepts. He shared understandings passed to him about pono, tika and aroha, and how these principles for wellbeing are driven by tapu and mana.

Whare’s contribution to our learning concluded with reference to those who had worked so strenuously and for so long through the Waitangi Tribunal process, culminating in the Waitaha Claim Settlement of 2013. A settlement that could never be complete redress but one that marked a point in time to plan for the future, a more equitable future.

As the Noho Marae moved into the afternoon and evening, participants reflected on a range of narratives about colonisation and the role education plays in the process of colonisation or counter-colonisation.

As part of this, a panel was convened from participants to highlight individual and contrasting experiences of education and ‘re-education’ (Jackson 2016)

On Monday morning, Kaiwhakaako responsible for leading the Blended Learning within individual schools moved from meaning-making to collectively constructing next steps in activating transformative change.

The following are extracts from their feedback;

Colonisation has dictated that tāngata whenua assimilate, therefore disadvantaging them. How can we turn this around? - how can I promote this?

How can we redress and move forward? How do the other stories become part of The Story?

How do we facilitate conversation so everyone has a voice - that people without power have a say?

It’s also convincing white people that a relinquishing of power doesn't mean becoming oppressed themselves.

We are leaders of change; our children are still waiting.

How do we decolonise our school?

How can we help our teachers develop an understanding of tapu and mana - that enables us as leaders to help improve students' sense of wellness - identity and achievement?

Change needs to happen. Māori learners need to be better understood from a whole perspective: who they are, where they come from, how they connect to the place and land.

The importance of looking at pre-colonisation times. At looking at potential.

How can I be confident knowing that the small steps I make will be significant and long lasting? Ma te mahi tahi ka anga whakamua.

Although my actions may seem too small in the big picture, every bit counts. Iti te kupu, nui te kōrero.

The time is now.

I want to be a part of that change.

Our thanks to Hei Marae for all their care of us and to everyone who attended to support one another to experience, to learn and unlearn so we might leave with hearts and minds filled with renewed purpose.

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What is Te Hurihanganui?

Posted on 19 July, 2019


The initiation of a Government commitment

Budget 2018 provided an allocation for the Ministry of Education to work with a group of ten Mātanga (experts), to design a blueprint to strengthen equity and lift achievement for Māori students.

The collective experience, and evidence about what would work for ākonga Māori, ensured that this blueprint would build on the lessons learnt from Te Kotahitanga and subsequent programmes, while also considering new system settings. Mātanga expertise spanned the entire education system from Early Childhood, including iwi and whānau Māori.

The Mātanga group comprised Jim Peters, Professor Wally Penetito, Mere Berryman as the chair, Daniel Murfitt, Professor Roberta Hunter, Te Waipounamu Teinakore, Dr. Lesley Rameka, Hurae White, Therese Ford and Whetu Cormick.

Although we knew that sites of excellence could be found in some English medium schools, we agreed that exemplars in which Māori students were enjoying and achieving educational success as Māori were more likely to be found in kaupapa Māori settings.

Within these settings, Māori culture, identity and language are actively prioritised and celebrated, and whānau Māori are more likely to be an active and valued part of their children’s learning experiences and cultural affirmation.

Alternatively, over successive generations, our state education system has socialised a dominant narrative reinforcing privilege based on the English language and colonial values. Subsequently, education has been largely undertaken against a deficit background of misunderstanding, bias and racism which, together with the devaluing and suppression of Māori language and values, has perpetuated ongoing disparities and disadvantage for Māori.

We understood that supporting ākonga Māori to experience education success required us first to understand and respond to this historical colonial context and that this would require significant action and commitment if we were to transform the system to support and sustain Māori education success as Māori.

Te Hurihanganui

A new name was also needed to reflect the transformative nature required of the work and locate this initiative within the wider Education Work programme. After lengthy discussions, Kingi Kiriona (Ngāti Ruanui, Ngāti Kahungunu and Ngāti Apa) gifted the name Te Hurihanganui, providing the following explanation:

… it is said that Ranginui (the Sky Father) and Papatūānuku (the Earth Mother) were separated by their son Tāne Mahuta and his brothers. Such was the grief of both parents following the separation, and as an act of aroha, the children elected to turn their mother face down to avoid one parent seeing the sadness and despair of the other. This act became known as ‘Te Hurihanganui’, the great change or turning point, from which mankind evolved into Te Ao Mārama (the World of Light).

We agreed that Te Hurihanganui and this story were symbolic of the significant action required to achieve transformative education system reform. We recognised that to realise the educational potential of ākonga Māori, this new initiative must be revolutionary and act as a turning point for the system. However, in accepting the name, Te Hurihanganui, responsibility must also be taken for the courageous guardianship this name, and initiatives associated with it, will require.

Design Principles to Budget Bid

Based on evidence and our experiences of what works for Māori in education, six design principles that we believe are critical for transformative education system reform were reported to Minister Davis.

  • Te Ao Māori – Rich and legitimate knowledge is located within a Māori worldview. Under Te Tiriti o Waitangi, the education system must create and hold safe spaces for this knowledge to reside, supporting Māori to live and succeed as Māori.
  • Tino Rangatiratanga – Māori exercise authority and agency over their mātauranga, tikanga, and taonga. In order to access this knowledge, Māori leadership is essential. Through decolonisation of the education system, Māori potential will be realised.
  • Whanaungatanga – Whānau relationships are an exemplar for authentic, meaningful and transformative relationships in education. These relationships are based on mutual trust and respect from which shared understandings and reciprocal benefits can arise.
  • Te Ira Tangata – Everyone is born of greatness and imbued with inner potential and conscious awareness. This brings with it the responsibility to be critically aware of ourselves, our world, and each other.
  • Mana Ōrite – Te Tiriti o Waitangi is the foundation for equal, reciprocal, respectful and interdependent relationships between Māori and non-Māori (Pākehā - of colonial heritage, and tauiwi - more recent migrant of refugee).
  • Te Hāngaitanga – We must take collective responsibility for ensuring Māori can enjoy and achieve education success as Māori. This can be achieved if all within the education system (Māori, Pākehā and Tauiwi) work in unison to understand and address these design principles.

Together, these interdependent principles offer greater potential for developing an equitable and excellent education system where Māori students will come to believe they are valued and belong.

The Ministry used this work to develop a budget bid which successfully received 42 million dollars over the next three years from the Wellbeing budget. How this work will play out, and with whom, is yet to be decided. We trust that our blueprint and principles continue to be interpreted from positions of cultural strength and potential. We know that our future sits with our children who deserve better than we received and that this responsibility will ultimately sit with all of us.

Submitted by: Te Hurihanganui Mātanga

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