Cropped Inv Pm Awards 5

​Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards

Posted on 16 July, 2017

Celebrating the winners

Congratulations to Invercargill Middle School, winners of the Prime Minister’s Excellence in Teaching and Learning – Atatū Award.

This Award recognised how the staff have responded to the needs and potential of their diverse learners with an inclusive language programme that has increased students’ confidence and participation.

"We knew that oral language was a need for many students," said Deputy Principal Katie Pennicott, "and going back to the Treaty of Waitangi, there’s participating and power sharing, and sharing that power between each other.

We were thinking about how to change the classroom so that the classroom is not about the teacher talking but the students discussions between each other, and that’s where that came from.

So it’s about the children feeling empowered and having the power to run the conversations in the classroom, but they’re learning conversations, and having those talk moves helps them to start that conversation, maintain that conversation and keep it running.

We support them to disagree and agree with each other, in a polite way, in a respectful way, and in an empowering way.’"

Principal Stan Tiatia adds:

"It comes back to that expectation of participation, that expectation that you’ve got something to offer, that you are valuable, that you’ve got something valuable to give to other people and to share."

Submitted by Mere Berryman

Awards-related videos

  • The Prime Ministers Excellence in Education Awards videos can be viewed here.
  • The highlights package from the Awards night can be viewed here.

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Nga Manu Korero Poster Cropped V5

Ngā Manu Korero – Te Tai Tokerau Competition

Posted on 13 July, 2017ā-manu-korero-te-tai-tokerau-competition

Dawn Lawrence reflects on her experience at Ngā Manu Kōrero

This year, Thomaseena Paul and Otamatea High School privileged me with an invitation to be a kaiwhakawā in the English section of the Te Tai Tokerau Ngā Manu Kōrero. I wish to begin by thanking them.


For the last eight years I have worked to support Kura Auraki (English medium schooling) to create contexts in which Māori students can stand firm in their identity, language and culture, but the nature of the contracts under which this mahi has been undertaken has meant that Ngā Manu Korero has always sat outside what I have been able to connect with or focus on.

For me, it had always been something that happened ‘over there’, led by people other than the teachers and school leaders I worked with and to be honest, that is about as much thought as I gave to it.

A colleague recently challenged me on this, suggesting I had much to learn about Māori succeeding as Māori if I did not see the connection and importance of Ngā Manu Korero to our professional development work. As is often the way when there is something important for you to learn, a teacher will appear – in this case in the form of this invitation.

The experience

I learnt many things from this experience but there are perhaps two key things I came away having ‘felt’.

Firstly, I breathed in a cultural context that was determined by te reo me ōna tikanga Māori but physically located in a ‘western’ context - a school hall in a mainstream secondary school.

I heard the possibilities of a truly bi-cultural partnership in the voices and the silences of that space over those two days. A partnership in which the harmonies created through the strength of our combined voices can create a society in which we all flourish.

Secondly, the importance of kanohi kitea.

This concept has been part of professional development conversations I have had, but from the far end of the judging line in the draft of the door, I felt its importance. I may have been in the building, I may have been on the judging panel but there my place both began and ended.

And that is an important lesson for those of us who carry a sense of entitlement to claim space and to speak.

The competition categories

The event itself was awesome! Twenty-one schools were represented by speakers in four categories:

  • Te Himi Henare (bilingual)
  • Tā Turi Kara (junior Māori)
  • Rāwhiti Ihaka (junior Māori) Korimako (senior English)
  • Pei Te Hurinui Jones (senior Māori).

Acknowledgement must go to all of the speakers, their whānau, and kaiako; and congratulations to all of the winners:


Te Himi Henare

Unique to Te Tai Tokerau this section was first included in the June of 1990 at Otiria Marae, and is a memorial to Sir James Henare. Annette Ross was the inaugural winner of Te Timi Henare. The greenstone taonga that is now around the neck of Te Himi Henare was placed there on the passing of Dame Whina Cooper in 1994 at the request of her people. (Facebook)

  • Te Aroha Pawa – Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Pukemiro (3rd)
  • Waimahana Henare – Te Kāpehu Whatū (2nd)
  • Kareriera Komene - Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Rāwhitiroa (1st)


  • Phoenix Henare-Clark – Northland College (3rd)
  • Ebony Smythe – Rodney College (2nd)
  • Tasha Perrett - Te Kāpehu Whetū (1st)

Pei Te Hurinui Jones

  • Kiritopa Allen – Te Kāpehu Whetū (3rd)
  • Julius Reihana - Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Rangi Āniwaniwa (2nd)
  • Kuao Moore - Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Rāwhitiroa (1st)

Tā Turi Kara

  • Skyla Cloey Anderson-Wynn – Pompallier Catholic College (3rd)
  • Rehutai Kingi – Kerikeri High School (2nd)
  • Shallen Desmond - Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Pukemiro (1st)

Rāwhiti Ihaka

  • Kahurangi Hauraki - Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Kaikohe (3rd)
  • Hirini Greaves - Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Rangi Āniwaniwa (2nd)
  • Fleurnik Raui – Te Kura Takiwā o Taipā (1st)

Good luck and best wishes to all of you who will represent your whānau, your kura and Te Tai Tokerau at the national competition at the TSB Stadium, New Plymouth 20 – 22 September 2017.

Ngā mihi Dawn Lawrence

For other pieces Dawn has written:

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Pp Matariki News Story Hero Cropped V3

Matariki drives discovery

Posted on 21 February, 2017


Napier’s Matariki Community of Learning/ Kāhui Ako is lifting student achievement in Science across the community. Senior students from Hukerere Girls College and William Colenso College have been learning with primary students from their partner schools.

The principles of tuakana-teina were clearly evident as the students rotated through a series of experiments designed to illustrate the chemistry behind changing states of matter.

Fiona Craven, Across-schools Teacher (Science), was impressed by how much all the students gained from working together.

“It was wonderful to see how quickly the students assumed their reciprocal roles. The younger students were respectful of the older students while the older students were stretched to describe things like oxidation and reduction in ways that could be grasped by younger minds. Over the afternoon I saw the questions posed change from ‘Which flame is prettier?’ to ‘Why do you think it’s a different colour?' 'What might be happening?’"

Matariki’s distributed leadership model means each of the seven principals leads an achievement goal. Chris Meynell of Marewa Primary School has responsibility for Science.

“If we can change the children’s perception of Science at primary level, then we are onto a winner in terms of getting those kids to experience success in what is a national priority. It’s a goal for us to look at what we can develop in the primary setting so that they are ready and more engaged in Science at the secondary level”

Across the community there is structured and frequent engagement between the principals, their respective boards of trustees, and teachers - something Chris believes is already delivering benefits.

“One of the features that I’ve found has been the opening up of each other’s schools, There are now relationships between teachers across schools where they can go and visit each other and see each other’s practice and work together.”

“What really binds us together is the absolute belief that our kids can achieve great things.”

The Matariki Community of Learning/Kāhui Ako consists of the following member schools:

  • Henry Hill Primary School
  • Hukarere Māori Girls College
  • Maraenui Bilingual School
  • Marewa Primary School
  • Richmond Primary School
  • Te Awa Primary School
  • William Colenso College
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Mere News V6

Mere Berryman honoured

Posted on 14 November, 2015

Finalist in Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Award

(Photo: Morehu Ngatoko with Mere Berryman at Huria marae.)

Mere Berryman is a finalist for the 2017 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year. The Poutama Pounamu Director has spent most of her career working to lift Māori educational achievement.

Mere, who was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit last year, says she was humbled to have been nominated for New Zealander of the Year, and to have made the final three has left her feeling extremely privileged.

Chief judge Cameron Bennett says courage is the word that defines these exceptional Kiwis. “It’s the courage they’ve shown to advocate for their fellow Kiwis living on the margins, the courage to take our story to the world, the courage to lead. They’ve done this in typical Kiwi fashion – with humility, decency and fairness.”

Watch New Zealander of the Year finalist/Mere Berryman.

Mere has demonstrated this courage by working ceaselessly with teachers throughout her career to advocate for Māori learners. Read more

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