What we offer

The University of Waikato has built its foundations upon the Treaty of Waitangi and the ensuing principles of partnership, protection and participation. Under the Treaty of Waitangi, we understand partnership, protection and participation to be the right of all learners, Māori (iwi) and non-Māori (Pākehā and Tauiwi).

Poutama Pounamu works from Te Kura Toi Tangata – Faculty of Education, alongside staff from Te Whai Toi Tangata: the Institute of Professional learning.

Members of the Poutama Pounamu unit bring together a broad range of education knowledge and iterative research expertise in support of promoting equity, excellence and belonging. We are committed to every child being able to learn and achieve, with their culture and identity strong and secure. This is essential for the future wellbeing of our tamariki mokopuna and for the wellbeing of our nation as a whole.

In selecting one of us as your Expert Partner or Accredited Facilitator within the Professional Learning and Development (PLD) environment, you will be connecting with our collective expertise and commitment.
Contact us to discuss your needs.

We believe that with adaptive expertise we can drive more deliberate professional acts in regards to curriculum, polices and practices. In order to develop more critical contexts for change this requires the development of cultural relationships for responsive pedagogy and collaborations across home, schools and communities. In transformative school reform, these contexts operate inter-dependently and they are driven by the key levers of critical leadership, evidence informed decision making and prioritised learning outcomes.
Meet our whānau.


Our range of services


1. Services available through centrally funded professional learning and development

Poutama Pounamu has both Expert Partners and Accredited Facilitators.

Since 2016, members of Poutama Pounamu have worked with Schools, Kura, and Communities of Learning/Kāhui Ako (CoL/KA) to support the development of achievement challenges and professional learning and development proposals to access centrally funded Professional Learning and Development (PLD) in 2017.

This involved the:

    • collaborative collection, analysis and understanding of a range of evidence from across CoL/KA schools
    • critical reflection on levers for school improvement and reform
    • development of understandings for implementing critical cycles of inquiry at multiple levels within schools and across the CoL/KA schools
    • identification of criteria and development of job descriptions for across-school and within-school teacher appointments
    • completion of Teacher Led Innovation Funding (TLIF) proposals.

This has been important learning for our role in working with CoL/KA leaders. We believe our Expert Partners need to be:

    • responsive to the lead principal and through them to their CoL/KA leaders.
    • relational, and able to create dialogic spaces where questions can be raised, responses can be proposed and evidence can be used to test proposals.
    • smart in our use of evidence to inform decision-making.
    • up to date with relevant policy information and resources from across the sector.

At times this requires a wider set of skills than currently sits within any single person. Therefore we intend to work through a designated Expert Partner from our whānau, who can draw upon the expertise of other members should the need arise.

We believe our Accredited Facilitators need to work with schools on developing proposals for accessing centrally funded professional learning and development, and in implementing the delivery plan agreed with the Ministry of Education. Our nationally located team is available to support schools across New Zealand.

Where needed we can also work with schools to draw on the expertise of our PLD colleagues at the Faculty of Education, in the Institute of Professional Development (IPL).


​2. Services available through Direct to Schools PLD

Poutama Pounamu will work with schools to prepare and implement responsive professional learning and development for schools.

Developed from the ako: critical contexts for change, schools are supported to implement whole school reform that supports all students in ‘learning and achieving for the future’ and with their ‘cultural identity strong and secure’.


​3. Regional workshops

Poutama Pounamu will be offering a number of regional workshops throughout the year to support school leaders and teachers. These will include:

    • implementing the Ako: Critical contexts for change
    • understanding cultural relationships as the basis for responsive pedagogy
    • home, school and community collaborations
    • working within a critical cycle of school reform
    • using and understanding evidence for greater effect.

Rongohia te Hau

Rongohia te Hau is a comprehensive set of electronic tools for gathering student, teacher and whānau perceptions of relational and culturally responsive pedagogy, together with detailed information from classroom observations.

We can work with your school to initiate the surveys electronically, train staff in classroom observations and in the analysis of the data. Facilitators will work with the school in interpreting the data and planning next steps.