About Poutama Pounamu Blended Learning

Deepen your learning, skills and capabilities for better understanding the fundamentals of Kaupapa Māori and Critical Theory - the building blocks of indigenising and decolonising ourselves, schools, centres and communities.

‘It was transformational and I realised that the first journey that I needed to take was a personal one. It was one that each of us needed to go on by ourselves. All the staff had to experience it.’
- School Principal

Poutama Pounamu Blended Learning for Educators

Poutama Pounamu Blended Learning for Educators comprises five online modules and three wānanga over the year.

Wānanga generally occur at the start, middle and end of the 12 month period. Two are held at local marae. The other wānanga is held online with multiple sessions over an extended two week period.

The course has been specifically designed to support relational and responsive ‘dialogic learning’, initially with tutors and then with broader groups of ākonga.

‘It would keep us honest. Sitting with someone else, that’s when your real learning starts. We’d have a discussion about the content and then we would, as a group, think ‘Right, how will that look in our classroom?, in our school?’
- Teacher
‘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 potential for the Blended Learning to effect transformative change is explored in the BES feature Giving effect to Te Tiriti o Waitangi: One school’s journey built on Poutama Pounamu Blended Learning.


Poutama Pounamu Blended Learning for Educators creates the space to support consciousness-raising through:

    • an analysis of relevant, written and electronic resources
    • structured conversations and ‘thinking-time’ to better understand our own critical consciousness and how that contributes to biases in regards to the Doctrines of Discovery, Te Tiriti o Waitangi, Tangata Whenua, colonisation, minority groups and racism
    • the development of ongoing reflexivity through wānanga participation with face-to-face and online feedback/feed-forward provided by members of the Poutama Pounamu team
    • determined, ongoing opportunities to share this learning with others, and
    • deeper learning about education reform by Māori, for Māori, for all.
‘Whereas before they might talk behind closed doors, they might talk with someone that has a similar opinion to me, but 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.’
- Kāhui Ako Lead

Possible ongoing learning pathway

Kaiwhakaako participating in Poutama Pounamu Blended Learning for Educators have a supported pathway into Master’s level study.

Full participation over the 12 months attracts two 15 point papers and a $1000 scholarship towards a Summer School paper.

Support to apply for study leave has seen a number of Kaiwhakaako from previous cohorts completing their Master’s level research.

‘I’d been wanting to pursue a Master’s and Blended Learning gave me the framework to build it around.’
- Across School Teacher
‘The more I read, the more I find out, the more I want to know. It’s enabled my own change and awakened my agency to influence others.’
- Secondary School Teacher
‘I would never have got so far in my Master’s so soon without all of the Poutama Pounamu staff supporting me to see myself as someone who is a Masters student.’
- Primary School Teacher

Poutama Pounamu Blended Learning for Rangatahi/Whānau

This version of Poutama Pounamu Blended Learning is designed to amplify and extend ākonga, whānau and iwi experiences into the socio-political landscape of colonisation and education.

Multiple pathways through curated content provide opportunities for taking independent learning to depth.

Collaborative experiences with others in the community run parallel and align with Educator Blended Learning through shared on-site or online wānanga events.

Poutama Pounamu Blended Learning for Rangatahi/Whānau comprises three kete, two wānanga and two mana whenua hui.

‘We have been having conversations about racism for years. It’s great to have space to learn and talk with others.’
- Rangatahi

Learning Pathways

From rangatahi/whānau who have already contributed to the development, we know we must work with:

    • schools to link rangatahi/whānau to NCEA credits and knowledge,
    • mana whenua to link to the local cultural narrative and te reo Māori,
    • iwi to link to whakapapa support, scholarships and workforce trajectories, and
    • tertiary and vocational groups/institutions to identify transition support, programming and scholarships.


Poutama Pounamu Blended Learning comprises five online modules and associated regional wānanga. It 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 can be funded through the region’s Professional Learning and Development budget.

Principals and/or Kāhui Ako Lead Principals apply for 21 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.

We have recently developed a second and complementary Poutama Pounamu Blended Learning offering that directly engages rangatahi and whānau to enrich and align home, school and community collaborations.

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 12 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

Regional Wānanga

Professor Mere Berryman presenting at Pukemokimoki Marae, Napier

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

‘I’ve been teaching for more than twenty years and I knew about the inequity of outcomes but this has opened my eyes to where the real barriers are. I can see now how much identity matters, critical consciousness and the learning itself has driven me to be able to do better for others.’
- Head of Department

download the Poutama Pounamu Overview brochure (PDF)