What people we have worked with say about our 'cultural capability'


Just reflecting on today – as I sit here prepping for the BOT meeting…Big thanks to you all once again. So much value out of today but also the groundwork laid last time. You were all phenomenal as leaders in this kaupapa and I felt really proud to be alongside you. My own team and I gained the space and positioning to have a critical conversation as learners. Some big shifts becoming visible that I want to maximise while people are willing, so we’ll talk about this at our next ASL hui.

  • Jill Weldon, Lead principal, Te Puke Kahui Ako

‘Thank you for a great day! So much to consider and I like that we have allowed time for the student voice to settle before we launch into whānau and teacher voice on Thursday, there's a lot in the voices. We really appreciate your tautoko and the way you allow time for us to make sense of the findings. We are finding so much value in this mahi and it's exciting to be part of this change. It's the opportunity to act upon what our [Rongohia te hau] survey tells us by ensuring that ALL of the behaviours and interactions at Netherton are treaty honouring that is of utmost importance.’

  • Alicia Paterson, Deputy Principal, Netherton School

We really enjoyed our morning with you and it has reset our awareness of Poutama Pounamu and the cultural values we are seeking to develop and strengthen in our kura.

  • Linda Allen, Principal, Oratia School

Thanks for the session on Friday - I think staff will really engage with the findings of this (Rongohia te hau). Also, we, the SLT, watched those videos this morning - really good, lots of food for thought.

  • Thomas Bigge, Associate Principal, Oratia School

‘I am really looking forward to tomorrow's hui, I have learnt lots just reading through what [the team] have put together and feel very much in the learning pit with this new learning.’

  • Rachel Smith, Deputy Principal, Matamata Primary School

“Thank you so very much for today. I have received so much positive feedback about how productive the day was and how people really appreciate you as a teacher. I just love learning from you. Your choice of vocabulary always keeps me mesmerised and your beautiful connection with people is a true gift to us. Really really appreciate what you did for us today. Love learning with you.”

  • Chris Gladstone, Principal, St Joseph’s School Nelson

Thank you for your support...in showing us a fresh way to interact with the [Rongohia te hau] evidence. Some of the numbers and comments were obviously confronting and caused me a bit of frustration; however, on reflection I am actually really excited about the way we have already engaged with the evidence and I can see the real potential that unpacking this in a meaningful way with our teachers has the potential to be transformative. I really appreciate the reminder that our whaanau and students have given us a gift and it needs to be treated with aroha and respect.

It reminded me of the quote by Chinua Achebe; 'Until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.' Unless we deliberately engage with the evidence in a way that respects the voices of our whaanau and students there is a risk of developing a narrative that 'glorifies' or justifies our collective practice. Worse case scenario maintaining status quo. However, I feel invigorated in that I think we have a fire in our belly that will not let that happen. As [the principal] pointed out to me, as a team we bring varied and essential pumanawa to the table. These strengths will guide us moving forward to bring this work to life for our wider school community.

  • Shannon Johnson, Deputy Principal, Matamata Intermediate School

It's a pretty soul-searching process! Thank you for putting in the time for me to really analyse the practices I do in my classroom. I need to revisit my cultural toolkit and be conscious that each student actually does bring in their kete (which does have their own cultural toolkit in it).

  • Sharif Member, Head of Faculty (Science / Physical Education), Kelston Boys’ High School

‘After our zui, I redesigned the weekly tasks and started with the kids at the heart..so all of our conversations are really useful, thank you. We were just discussing today as a staff how we can really bring back the positive changes when we return from lockdown - we have seen some awesome mahi from the kids at home, that they are leading and it is inspiring! A real opportunity.’

  • Alicia Paterson, Deputy Principal, Netherton School

Thank you so much for facilitating our staff meeting yesterday. I think you have settled some nervousness, at the same time as nicely introducing some ideas for teachers to be thinking about. I particularly enjoyed hearing teachers discuss ideas and also asking each other questions.

  • Janet Moyle, Principal, Henderson Valley School

For the South Rangitikei Kāhui Ako, our work with Poutama Pounamu has taken us in exactly the direction we were hoping for. We knew we needed help to get our waka traveling in the same direction and our work with the team has fully supported us on our journey. The team provides a differentiated approach for each kura whilst always maintaining the integrity of each school's kaupapa in line with our achievement challenges. One of our greatest shifts has been the knowledge we have developed collectively around Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the potential for positive engagement in authentic learning through a Te Ao Māori lens for all of the tauira in the Rangitikei Region.

  • Kim Gordon, Lead Principal, South Rangitikei Kāhui Ako

This has been an amazing journey so far and you have opened our thinking in new and different ways, it was great that you could identify when we were having those “ah ha” moments. Your dedication to advocating for quality learning and education for all children, especially tamariki māori, is outstanding.

  • Cathy Puna, Lead Kaiako, Southland Kindergarten Association