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Strengthening iwi and whānau partnerships

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One of the most significant changes at Taihape Area School has been the development of collaborative and sustainable partnerships with family, whānau, and iwi. This film explains how iwi representatives have worked with the school to ensure that the iwi's visions and aspirations are shared, understood, and reflected in practice.

This film is part of a series, designed to provide support and inspiration to schools that are in the process of reviewing their own curriculum.

Professional learning conversations

These questions and suggested actions encourage you to reflect on your own school context.

  • Discuss the steps that Taihape Area School has taken to strengthen school–iwi/whānau partnerships.
  • How do the actions Taihape Area School has undertaken link to the vision and intent of The New Zealand Curriculum? Think about the community engagement principle and messages about curriculum design and review.
  • Consider your school’s involvement with parents, families, whānau, and communities? Is there a genuine partnership between your school and its community? How does it manifest itself? How can it be strengthened?

Have you seen?

NZC Online – Community engagement
The resources on this site support school leaders, teachers, and professional learning facilitators as they engage with school communities.

Transcript

V/O: Many things have happened, including building strong iwi and whānau relationships, changing the school structure, and providing strong leadership and professional learning.

Ngaire Kauika-Stevens (iwi rep, board of trustees): Now, for a very short time, you've had iwi participation, whānau participation, and you've had it at a level where you can actually see change.

A. J. Shaw (student leader): Well, I've been here since third form, and it’s been a bit rocky with different principals and things. But I think since a few years, especially since Mr Davy came to be principal here, things have improved a lot.

Boyce Davey (Principal): Iwi, I think are, are more, they’re long-termers, and they’ve been here since day one and they’re going to be here till the end as well, so they’ve got a long-term investment in the school.

Ngaire Kauika-Stevens: The iwi presence is quite different from having a Māori rep on the board. So the role of the iwi rep is to ensure that the iwi's visions and aspirations are taken care of at a governance level. The iwi vision for us here is "kia tu te rangatiratanga o nga hapu o Mokai Patea". It’s a huge vision, huge. That vision for the iwi also has another part of what the iwi's role is, which is they have an education arm within our rohe, and the education has an iwi strategic education plan.

Jordan Haines-Winiata (Iwi Education Forum): The iwi is now having more input through a forum called an Iwi Education Forum, which is developed with representatives of our four hapu within our area and our five marae.

Ngaire Kauika-Stevens: The education vision is about us being leaders and binding people together. And that vision comes from ... they’re all written on our house here. And we have incorporated that into the school by being part of the decision making and also part of the charter.

Jordan Haines-Winiata: Because we have that relationship with the school, it’s not as hard to call upon resources that are needed to support things that are Māori within the kura.

Ngaire Kauika-Stevens: Once we got the leadership right, the whole community started to change because there was some guidance, there was all the aspirations that came from the establishment board were driven by the leadership. So all we really needed to do was govern the school and let the leadership take care of the operations for the betterment of our kids.

Boyce Davey: An important start to Taihape Area School was coming in with the powhiri and the blessings of Ngāpuhi. Ngāpuhi brought me here to a pōwhiri and handed me over to Mokai Patea and not in, at school, but at Winiata Marae. And I’m sure, from talking to iwi, that they feel part of the school now because of that pōwhiri and things that have happened since.


Updated on: 10 Feb 2015


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