About Poutama Pounamu Online

For a detailed description of the course:

- read or download the Poutama Pounamu Online Overview brochure (PDF)

- download the Poutama Pounamu Online powerpoint presentation (.ppt)


Poutama Pounamu Online is an 18 month blended learning course that will spread and embed understanding of cultural relationships for responsive pedagogy. The underpinning theory of action is based on over 15 years of research into what works best for Māori students and how this can work more effectively for all.

The course comprises 9 online modules, two regional wānanga and up to three local hui. Poutama Pounamu Online is a cascading model of PLD - each participant shares their learning with a minimum of three other people in a learning group they establish.

Participation will be funded through the region’s Professional Learning and Development budget.

Principals and/or Kāhui Ako Lead Principals apply for 25 PLD contact hours for each participant (and their learning group/Ākonga). This can be a stand-alone proposal or part of a larger, school-wide or Kāhui ako-wide PLD application.

Further information

If you have further questions please contact:

Who is it designed for?

Poutama Pounamu Online involves strategic Community of Learning/Kāhui Ako personnel in activating their own learning and then spreading that learning to others. It is designed for those who have an established role in change management and developing professional capability across schools and kāhui ako.

Participants in the first cohort included 19 principals (including 4 kāhui ako Lead Principals) and 40 teaching staff (including school leadership roles and kāhui ako across-school and within-school leads). Other participants include Early Childhood representatives in kāhui ako, PLD providers, RTLBs, Ministry of Education staff and a Board of Trustees representative.

Those involved will accumulate evidence within an online portfolio for professional appraisal and accreditation purposes. There is also a pathway for those wishing Master’s level qualifications.


Over 18 months participants (Kaiwhakaako) will engage with web-based materials and record their responses online. Expert feedback will be provided to each Kaiwhakaako by the Poutama Pounamu tutors.

When they are ready, each Kaiwhakaako will convene a group (Ākonga) and facilitate their engagement with the same materials.

Every Kaiwhakaako will be supported locally to ensure the time and space necessary to undertake this work. These supporting individuals (Kairaranga) will assist in ensuring others are also available to participate as Ākonga.

The Modules

1: Agentic Responses to the Fabric of New Zealand Society
2: Culture, Language and Identity
3: Cultural Relationships for Responsive Pedagogy
4: Educationally Powerful Connections
5: Ako: Critical Contexts for Change
6: Critical Leadership
7: Evidence to Accelerate
8: Teacher Observations for Responsive Learning
9: Reforming School Systems and Structures



– the person who leads the learning with others

This role will require approximately 10 -12 hours each module to;

  • engage with the materials and respond online
  • convene and conduct a meeting with the Ākonga
  • consider Ākonga feedback and create a final response for each module.

It is anticipated two modules will be completed each term.

    • The content was engaging and provided plenty of starting points for conversation/discussion
    • The materials are fantastic. They are thought provoking and provide a range of perspectives and collection of voice that is not always easy to access.
    • Looking at the role of a teacher was very good as it showed the clear agency that teachers have in addressing the issues we face in NZ.
    - Comments from 2017 participants


– those who undertake to learn with the Kaiwhakaako

This role will require approximately 3 hours each module to:

  • engage with the materials and respond online

    • My own understanding has deepened considerably and I’m beginning to see group agency develop
    • It was awesome to see 7 teachers opting into this group.
    - Comments from 2017 participant


– the person who weaves everyone together

This role will require the individual to be available as required to;

  • ensure the Kaiwhakaako has the time and space to undertake the work
  • provide a sounding board as they work through the materials
  • ensure others are available to participate as Ākonga.

Professor Mere Berryman presenting at Pukemokimoki Marae, Napier

Regional Wānanga

A series of regional wānanga provide opportunities for face-to-face engagement with the tutors and others undertaking the course.

      • Great wānanga thanks! Very thought provoking and great to
        get my head into some theory.
      • Awesome couple of days. Great discussion. Looking forward to the next one.
        Thank you for igniting the flame. Feel hugely motivated and empowered. Kia ora.
      • I have new understandings, new ideas and new learnings.
      • I am not the same educator that arrived yesterday. Thank you.
      - Comments from 2017 participants

Kaiwhakaako gather at Omaka Marae, Blenheim

Certification of Participation

The Ministry of Education and the Poutama Pounamu team will provide certificates of participation as evidence for professional appraisal and accreditation processes.

Qualifications Track

Participants may use their engagement in this professional learning as an entry prerequisite to a fast track Diploma (equivalent of two Masters level papers) being offered through the University of Waikato. This is not funded through the Ministry of Education PLD allocations.)

The fast track Diploma course requirements include the completed electronic portfolio together with:

  • 3,000-words reflecting on this blended learning journey and,
  • a 4,000-word essay demonstrating their application and understandings of Cultural Relations for Responsive Pedagogy.

This qualification will require attendance at the University of Waikato’s Summer School programme .

For a detailed description of the course:

- read or download the Poutama Pounamu Online Overview brochure (PDF)
- download the Poutama Pounamu Online powerpoint presentation (.ppt)