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A closer look at Ka Hikitia – Ka Hāpaitia | The Māori Education Strategy


Part 1: Productive partnerships

Ka Hikitia - Accelerating Success 2013 -2017.

NZC Online offers a series of blogs about Ka Hikitia – Ka Hāpaitia | The Māori Education Strategy. The blog posts look closely at different aspects of the Māori education strategy and provide questions, resources, and suggested actions for school leaders and kaiako.

Ka Hikitia (the Māori Education Strategy for Māori learners) and Tau Mai Te Reo (The Māori Language in Education Strategy for all learners) have been refreshed as part of the Education Work Programme. 

Ka hikitia! Ka hikitia!

Hiki, hikitia!

Whakarewa ki runga rawa

Herea kia kore e hoki whakamuri mai

Poua atu Te Pūmanawa Māori

He Mana Tikanga

Me Te Uri o Māia

Poipoia ngā mokopuna

Ngā rangatira mo āpōpō

Ka tihei! Tihei mauriora!

Ka hikitia! Ka hikitia!

Encourage and support!

And raise it to its highest level!

Ensure that high achievement is maintained

Hold fast to our Māori potential

Our cultural advantage

And our inherent capability

Nurture our young generation

The leaders of the future

Behold, we move onwards and upwards!

What is Ka Hikitia – Ka Hāpaitia?

Student working at desk.

Ka Hikitia – Ka Hāpaitia | The Māori Education Strategy is the Government’s strategy to rapidly change how education performs so that all Māori students gain the skills, qualifications, and knowledge they need to succeed and to be proud in knowing who they are as Māori. Too many Māori students disengage from education before they reach their full potential.

Ka Hikitia – Ka Hāpaitia | The Māori Education Strategy builds on the changes and success achieved through its predecessors, Ka Hikitia – Accelerating Success 2013–2017; Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success 2008–2012.

The revised strategy calls for action from everyone who has a role in education – students, parents, iwi, hapū, whānau, education professionals (teachers and leaders), businesses, government agencies, the Ministry of Education, and other education sector agencies.

Ka Hikitia – Ka Hāpaitia has five focus areas with goals, actions, targets, and measures to accelerate success for Māori students. The focus areas are Māori language in education – embedded across the other four focus areas; early learning; primary and secondary education; tertiary education; and organisational success.

The guiding principles

Ka Hikitia – Ka Hāpaitia | The Māori Education Strategy has five guiding principles to steer action:

  • Excellent outcomes
  • Belonging
  • Strengths-based
  • Productive Partnerships
  • Te Tiriti o Waitangi

Productive partnerships

This blog post examines the principle of productive partnerships in closer detail. It explores what is meant by productive partnerships, provides questions for leaders and kaiako to consider, and includes links to inspirational school stories and resources. Developing productive partnerships with whānau, hapū, and iwi is a key focus of the content.

What is meant by productive partnerships?

Nā tō rourou, nā taku rourou
ka ora ai te iwi

With your food basket and my food basket
the people will thrive

Productive partnerships in education are about working as a team; developing responsive and reciprocal relationships that lead to shared action, outcomes, and solutions.

To ensure the success of Ka Hikitia – Ka Hāpaitia, key stakeholders (students, parents, iwi, hapū, whānau, education professionals, businesses, government agencies, the Ministry of Education, and other education sector agencies) must form productive partnerships where there is an ongoing exchange of knowledge and information, and where everybody contributes to achieving the goals.

A productive partnership starts by understanding that Māori children and young people are connected to whānau and should not be viewed as separate, isolated, or disconnected. Parents and whānau must be involved in conversations about their children and their learning.

School stories – productive partnerships in action

Working in partnership with iwi and hapū to develop a localised curriculum
Schools in the Taupō area, including Wairakei School, have worked in partnership with Ngāti Tūwharetoa to ensure students learn about their iwi, its history, places, and stories.

'We have been able to engage with the iwi and in turn they have supported us and helped guide us in the development of our school-based curriculum.'

Paula Farquhar, Principal of Wairakei School

Developing whānau priorities at Te Kura o Hiruharama
The staff, board, and whānau at Te Kura o Hiruharama went through a process to identify their priorities. This digital story explains the process and the outcomes of this exploration and how this has transferred into the life of the school.  There are two other stories in this series.

'There isn’t really a definition between whānau and the management of the school, the teachers, we’re all one unit, and we all work together, we are all involved in all aspects of our children’s learning and we make the decisions together.'

Parent from Te Kura o Hiruharama

Questions for reflection and discussion

  • How do we provide ways for Māori students and their parents, whānau, hapū, iwi, or Māori communities to be involved in conversations and decisions about learning?
  • How do my colleagues and I work together to support Māori students to achieve education success as Māori?
  • How can we share good practice across our school and other schools?

Key resources to support productive partnerships

Te Mangōroa – Productive partnerships
The resources on this page support the principle of productive partnerships and provide examples from schools across New Zealand.

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 partnership with whānau.

New Zealand Curriculum Online – Community engagement
The resources 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.

NZC Update 10 – Engaging with families from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds
This update focuses on partnerships between schools and diverse families and communities. It builds on Update 1 (September 2010), which focused on engaging with whānau and Māori 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, investigates programmes and practices that enhance the relationship between families, communities, and schools - in particular 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.

How can parents, whānau, iwi, and hapū contribute to productive partnerships?

School leaders and kaiako need to foster an environment where parents, whānau, iwi, and hapū are encouraged to:

  • participate in conversations about their children and their learning
  • share their knowledge of Māori language, culture, and identity with education professionals and contribute to learning programmes
  • provide feedback and be involved in decision making
  • support their children to plan and implement their pathway through education
  • work with education professionals to create the conditions and support networks for successful transitions
  • become members of boards of trustees in school and kura.

Share your success

Do you have your own story to share about productive partnerships? Or do you know of useful ideas and resources? We would love to hear from you. Please email us at nzcurriculum@tki.org.nz.  

community engagement
ka hikitia
māori achievement