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Treaty of Waitangi

Ideas and resources

Research, resources, and ideas to support schools in understanding and enacting the Treaty of Waitangi curriculum principle.

Setting the direction

Key documents and programmes that support the Ministry of Education's policy and strategy directions in relation to the Treaty of Waitangi / te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Ka Hikitia – Accelerating Success 2013 – 2017
This updated Māori education strategy identifies guiding principles to steer direction, focus areas to prioritise resources and activity, a range of goals and actions to accelerate change, and targets and measures to stay on track and measure success. Schools can use the key messages of this strategy to inform and guide their practice.

Ka Hikitia in Action
This publication showcases the critical role parents, whānau and communities play in helping their children to learn. It illustrates that Māori educational success can be achieved when communities, iwi, schools, early learning centres, or the Ministry work in collaboration – mahi tahi.

An online copy is available to download.

NZC Online has developed a blog series that looks closely at different aspects of the strategy and provides questions, resources, and suggested actions for school leaders and kaiako.

Building on Success programme

Building on Success is projected to be in 98 schools by early 2015. As at April 2014, it is operating in 59 schools and at least another 26 schools have registered interest in participating. Another 60 schools, who have previously completed Te Kotahitanga and He Kākano PLD, will be able to access support from the national consortium in communities of practice to sustain their ongoing commitment and focus to accelerate Māori student achievement.

The Building on Success programme is an integral part of the Ministry of Education’s wider efforts to accelerate Māori student achievement. Building on Success brings together, strengthens, and builds on the evidence-based approach of the Te Kotahitanga, Starpath, He Kākano and secondary literacy and numeracy programmes. It also builds on the work of schools and whānau, hapū, iwi and Māori communities to further strengthen educational partnerships. Building on Success will offer a range of expertise to secondary schools, individually tailored to suit their particular strengths and needs. It will create a school culture, relationships and effective leadership and teaching practices to further accelerate the pace of Māori student achievement.

Nationally, the programme will be delivered by a consortium involving Waikato University, Auckland University and Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiarangi: the leaders of Te Kotahitanga, Starpath and He Kākano and the Secondary Literacy Project respectively. In the Whanganui rohe, Te Puna Mātauranga and Cognition Education will deliver an iwi partnership programme.

Making the waka go faster
When Peter Kaua, principal of Wanganui City College, was asked what kind of assistance he wanted to help boost Māori achievement in his school, his response was ‘the support of an outrigger.’

Tau Mai Te Reo – The Māori Language in Education Strategy 2013-2017
 (Tau Mai Te Reo) expresses what the Ministry of Education and education sector agencies will do for learners of Māori language in education. Tau Mai Te Reo states that activity to support Māori language in education must be deliberate, comprehensive, and focused on gathering information and reporting on it appropriately.

Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners
Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners explains the progression of the competencies teachers need to develop so they can help Māori learners achieve educationally as Māori. Tātaiako has been developed to help all educators think about what it takes to successfully teach Māori learners. It provides a starting point for schools developing cultural competence.


Research reports that explore Māori achievement and the Treaty of Waitangi curriculum principle.

Ākonga Māori in English-medium primary and intermediate schools: Findings from the NZCER national survey of primary and intermediate schools 2016 (published December 2017)
The 2016 national survey shows increased awareness and attention to incorporating tikanga Māori and te reo Māori into English-medium schools to better support the identity, wellbeing, and achievement of ākonga Māori. 

Education for Māori: Relationships between schools and whānau (published February 2015)
This report from the Auditor General Office examines how well the education system supports Māori students to achieve their full potential. It presents information about relationships between families and schools, and offers examples of practices that build effective relationships.

Evaluation at a Glance: Priority Learners in New Zealand Schools (August 2012)
This report is a synthesis of findings from a wide range of evaluations carried out over recent years by the Education Review Office (ERO). ERO has identified three key issues which evidence indicates are acting as impediments to New Zealand schools lifting their practice and, in particular, to raising the achievement levels of priority learners.

Evaluation of He Kākano: Professional Development for Leaders in Secondary Schools 2011-2012
This report details the bicultural approach of the He Kākano evaluation and includes recommendations for future school leadership professional learning programmes intending to promote educational outcomes for Māori student success as Māori.

Promoting Success for Māori Students: Schools’ Progress (June 2010)
This 2010 ERO report evaluates how schools have promoted success for Māori students. It identifies system-wide issues and recommended steps to be taken by schools and by the Ministry of Education to promote success for Māori in education.

The New Zealand Curriculum Principles: Foundations for Curriculum Decision-Making (July 2012)
This is ERO’s second national evaluation report looking at the extent to which the principles of The New Zealand Curriculum are evident in schools’ curricula and enacted in classrooms. The report describes how the Treaty of Waitangi principle is evident in schools. These descriptors can be used to help you reflect on your practice.

Directions for Learning: The New Zealand Curriculum Principles, and Teaching as Inquiry , May 2011
In early 2010, the Ministry of Education asked the Education Review Office (ERO) to conduct an initial evaluation, and a follow up evaluation one year later, to investigate how schools were using the eight principles and the teaching as inquiry process as outlined in The New Zealand Curriculum. The report describes how the Treaty of Waitangi principle is evident in schools. These descriptors can be used to help you reflect on your practice.

Creating culturally-safe schools for Māori students (2007)
This paper reports on the work of four scholars who share research that has been undertaken in educational settings with high numbers of Māori students. It presents ideas for creating culturally-safe schools; places that allow and enable students to be who and what they are. Although the report focuses on the cultural backgrounds and experiences of Māori students, many of the ideas and recommendations will be of benefit to all students.

TKI communities

TKI resources with a focus on raising Māori student achievement.

Building on success

Building on Success, a programme launched in 2013, will combine the best from Te Kotahitanga and He Kākano, as well other initiatives, to deliver a more integrated package in schools of culturally responsive leadership, teaching, and learning practices.

Te Kotahitanga: Raising Māori student achievement
Te Kotahitanga is a research and professional development programme that supports teachers to improve Māori students' learning and achievement. The programme enables teachers, leaders, and the wider school community to create a culturally responsive context for learning which acts on evidence of student performance and understandings.

He Kākano
He Kākano is a strategic school-based professional development programme with an explicit focus on improving culturally responsive leadership and teacher practices to ensure Māori learners enjoy educational success as Māori.

Te Mangōroa – Māori achieving education success as Māori
Te Mangōroa is a resource for English-medium schools. It is a portal to stories, reports, statistics, and reviews from across TKI and other sites that reflect effective practices to support Māori learners to achieve education success as Māori.

Te Kauhua
The Te Kauhua professional learning model is an action research and development initiative. Schools undertake action research projects to strengthen effective links between whānau, families, communities, and schools. The resulting case studies provide knowledge and guidance to inform the wider educational community about effective strategies for strengthening school-whānau relationships and Māori learner achievement outcomes.

Te Mana Kōrero
Te Mana Kōrero is a series of three professional development packages and facilitated workshops. These professional development packages draw on the evidence that show what is working for Māori students, from programmes such as Te Kotahitanga and Te Kauhua.

Inclusive Education Guides for Schools – Supporting Māori students
This guide focuses on inclusive teaching and learning strategies that can be used in the classroom to create a more effective learning environment for all Māori students.

Supporting curriculum implementation

Support material for school leaders and teachers as they design and review their school curriculum in line with the Treaty of Waitangi principle.

NZC Update 16 - The New Zealand Curriculum Treaty of Waitangi principle
This update focuses on the New Zealand Curriculum principle of the Treaty of Waitangi and its implications for teaching, learning, and the school curriculum.

NZC Update 7 - Te Kotahitanga
This update focuses on findings from Te Kotahitanga and highlights how this programme is producing positive gains for Māori students by influencing leadership, teaching, and learning in participating schools.

NZC update 3 – The role of the principles
This update explores the role of the curriculum principles in designing and reviewing the school curriculum. It includes three examples that illustrate the Treaty of Waitangi principle at the heart of curriculum decision making.

The Treaty of Waitangi as a curriculum principle
Janelle Riki talks about the Treaty of Waitangi, and suggests schools start by looking at the principles of the Treaty: participation, protection and partnership, and explore them through the lenses of whānau, students and local iwi and hapu. 

Creating productive partnerships

Resources for schools wanting to strengthen partnerships with whānau and Māori communities.

Ruia: School-whānau partnerships for Māori learners' success
A resource that supports principals and other school leaders to improve outcomes for Māori students by working in educationally powerful partnerships with whānau.

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

NZC Update 1 - Family and community engagement
This update focuses on engagement with whānau and Māori communities. Future updates will include examples of building relationships with Pasifika, special education, and refugee and migrant communities.

Pamela King, Kauri Park School: Sabbatical report
This report attempts to answer the question, “How might medium to high decile schools with a low percentage of Māori and Pasifika students successfully engage family and whānau in their children’s learning to help raise student achievement?”

Rex Allott, Principal Omanu School: Sabbatical report
In this sabbatical report Rex Allott, Principal of Omanu School, investigatesprogrammes and practices that enhance the relationship between families, communities, and schools - inparticular those that improve the achievement of Māori students.

Te Kāhui Māngai – Directory of Iwi and Māori Organisations
This directory gives information on iwi identified in the Māori Fisheries Act 2004, and those iwi/hapū that have begun the process of negotiating Treaty settlements. Schools can find contact details for iwi in their community.

Ngā Rerenga o Te Tiriti
A resource to support community organisations in engaging with the Treaty. Ngā Rerenga o Te Tiriti responds to the aspiration of groups and organisations within the community sector to be more engaged with the Treaty of Waitangi. It brings together many years of practice and reflection and it provides guidance, inspiration and sustenance to community organisations engaging with the Treaty.

Protecting the language

Resources to support the teaching and learning of Te reo Māori.

Te Reo Māori in English-medium Schools
Information and resources relevant to the teaching and learning of te reo Māori in English-medium schools.

Curriculum guidelines for Teaching and Learning Te Reo Māori in English-medium Schools: Years 1–13
These guidelines are intended to help every English-medium school in New Zealand to design and shape a curriculum that includes te reo Māori, alongside other learning areas, and acknowledge its value. The document describes, in broad terms, the knowledge and understandings that students need to acquire and the levels of proficiency that they are expected to achieve as they progress through the eight levels of the curriculum.

He Reo Tupu He Reo Ora
This is an online multimedia resource for teaching and learning te reo Māori. The primary audience is students in years 1 – 6 learning at levels 1 – 2 of Te Aro Arataki Marau (the curriculum guidelines for te reo Māori). It contains eight units of work with reomations (animations in te reo Māori), videos on how the resource can be used and marae protocol.

Ka Mau te Wehi!
This resource for year 7 and 8 teachers and students supports Māori language in schools. Ka Mau te Wehi! is an expression meaning awesome! or fantastic! It is used in this context to acknowledge and celebrate all achievements, large or small, that are made by the teacher and learner as they learn te reo Māori together.

EDtalk – Te reo Māori in English medium schools
Tamara Bell challenges teachers in English medium schools to increase achievement for Māori students by teaching te reo Māori. She also emphasises the importance of valuing students' cultural identities, and establishing close connections with students and their whānau.

EDtalk – Technology and the use of te reo Māori
Dr Te Taka Keegan talks about ways to ensure that Māori language is used and developed through social media, online networks, and through the use of appropriate technology.

Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori
An online resource to promote the use of Māori as a living language and as an ordinary means of communication.

Understanding the history and relevance of the Treaty of Waitangi

Resources that explain the Treaty of Waitangi / te Tiriti o Waitangi; its history, interpretations, principles, and the settlement process.

Talk treaty - Kōrerotia te Tiriti
On this website, 60 New Zealanders talk openly and honestly about the Treaty of Waitangi and a range of issues related to it.

TREATY 2 U tells the story of the Treaty of Waitangi / te Tiriti o Waitangi. It covers the events that led up to the Treaty, explains what is written in the documents, and explores the crucial differences between the Māori and English versions.

New Zealand History Online – Treaty of Waitangi
The Treaty of Waitangi section on New Zealand History Online provides a range of resources about the Treaty of Waitangi / te Tiriti o Waitangi and Waitangi Day.

Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand – The Treaty of Waitangi
This Te Ara section provides a comprehensive look at the Treaty of Waitangi / te Tiriti o Waitangi, including its history, principles, the Waitangi tribunal, and the settlement process.

Waitangi Tribunal – Resource kits for schools
These resource kits can be used to support the understanding of various Treaty claims and the settlement process.

At the heart of the school (published 09/2/2015)
In this article from the Education Gazette, Ricky Prebble, from Wellington East Girls’ College, talks about the Māori History in School Curriculum project that he is helping to lead. Plans are also afoot to construct a wharenui that will become the heart of his school’s effort to reflect the principles of biculturalism with more than words.

Other resources about the history of the Treaty of Waitangi / te Tiriti o Waitangi and its relevance today can be found in the national events section on NZC.

Providing inspiration

Discussions and webpages to invite reflection and inspire action. 

Mana ōrite: Critical curriculum contexts for accelerating and promoting mauri ora
In this video, Dr. Mere Berryman shares critical contexts for change where the curriculum can both accelerate and promote contexts for Mauri ora.

Whytangi, Wai Celebrate the Treaty?
In this blog, Rosalie Reiri gives a personal perspective on the impact of The Treaty of Waitangi and subsequent government actions. Rosalie encourages all teachers to teach students about the Treaty as one way of restoring mana (prestige) to the land, the language, people and their whakapapa.

Edtalk – Māori achieving success as Māori - a framework
Kathe Tawhiwhirangi, professional learning facilitator for CORE Education, discusses a framework she has used with schools to help them consider how to build an environment for Māori students to achieve success as Māori.

EDtalk – Culture counts in the classroom
Maria Tibble discusses the importance of teachers locating themselves culturally and thereby allowing Māori students to do the same.

EDtalk – Professional responsibility to Māori students
Maria Tibble discusses the professional responsibility that teachers have to ensure that their practice is effective and current, and points out that this responsibility extends to Māori students and the classroom practices that allow them to achieve.

EDtalk – Critical elements for raising Māori achievement
Phoebe Davis discusses two key elements for raising Māori achievement: forming relationships with students and whanau; and being culturally located.

Māori Future Makers on Facebook
Māori Future Makers is an excellent tool for students and whānau when planning education pathways. Māori future makers profiles 30 inspirational Māori with specialist skills and capabilities who are studying, employed, or self-employed in primary, knowledge-intensive, and growth industries.

Published on: 27 Mar 2012

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NZC resource bank – Māori achievement
This section of the NZC resource bank features resources and information related to Māori achievement. The material is organised into key resources, supporting materials, and digital stories to help you navigate to what you need.

Have you seen?

Rangiātea case studies and exemplars.

Rangiātea: case studies and exemplars
These case studies and exemplars examine five secondary schools, each of which is on a journey towards realising Māori student potential. They explore the strategies used by school leadership teams and report on the key factors that are contributing towards lifting Māori student achievement. The resources consist of downloadable PDF files with summaries and reflective questions that will support leadership teams in discussion and reflection.