Te Kete Ipurangi Navigation:

Te Kete Ipurangi

Te Kete Ipurangi user options:

Ministry of Education.

He Kakano Communique 34 - Friday 29th November 2013

29 November 2013

E kore au e ngaro – he kākano au i  ruia mai i Rangiātea 

I will never be lost – for I am a seed that was sewn in Rangiātea

Tēnā anō koutou katoa e te whānau o He Kākano,

Three topics this communiqué:
1.       Summaries of the He Kākano Regional September Conference video presentations in Rotorua and Dunedin – refer to the resource list pp 4-9 below for each speaker
2.       The He Kākano ‘Bus Stop’ Resources – initial thoughts
3.       The book proposal – this summarises last week’s Communiqué message about contributing to an He Kākano series of books by schools contributing their own ‘case studies’.

1.  Summaries of the He Kākano Regional September Conference Presentations in Rotorua and Dunedin (see pp 4.9 below)

Google: Vimeo: He Kākano Conference 2013 to access these OR go to the He Kākano web site (TKI)

The presentations and interviews in the national (March 2013) and He Kākano regional conferences (September 2013) are very rich sources for ideas and for stimulating debate in your staff room. At this stage, with the March Conference videos also now on line, there are now 102 videos available for you to look at, from 3 minutes to 15 minutes long each.

We suggest that the best way for you to use them is to encourage staff to first watch specific videos that relate to one of the four themes of the He Kākano Self Review Indicators framework (Positioning/Repositioning; Inquiring; Co-constructing and Engaging), depending on what your particular focus is. We have tried hard to summarise the key messages of each presentation in 1-2 sentences to help you select. Or alternatively, just look at people you know first.

The videos work best if you USE them as discussion starters. Watch them and critique them. For example, you might want to use them as discussion starters for staff PD. You could do a 5-3-1 exercise with them (five main points of interest, three pointed questions, one ‘so what? professional response signalling a way forward). Don’t just be passive watchers. We have observed that culturally responsive leadership is about innovative application of information, while taking cognisance of your own context and the systems and processes operating in your school.

2. The He Kākano 'Bus Stop' Resources - initial thoughts 

You will recall (at the wānanga) taking part in the ‘Bus Stop’ exercises. They were the second stage in a cycle of inquiry which began with identifying gnarly issues (after being in a ‘donut’), which in turn were turned onto scenarios for you to respond to under time pressure.

It has taken almost a year to boil down 500 pages of suggested approaches/solutions to identified issues (through the ‘Bus Stop’ scenarios that all wānanga participants became familiar with) into a useful tool that schools will find a rich source of ideas. Now you will have the opportunity to tell us how the many suggested responses might be implemented. What indicators from this tool might help you and your school to gain success with Māori students and whānau? What changes can be made to what you do now, to improve things?

We have deliberately not put the tool onto the web site yet, as we are first asking a number of Principals HOW they would use the tool and HOW they would make it accessible to their staff. Once we get feedback, we will send it out to all He Kākano schools with their suggested approaches. This will mean that the sector has not only contributed ideas but a process for using the tool. We have always said that the answers to the ‘issues and problems’ raised by school leaders about how to successfully focus on Māori student achievement and success are already there in the schools – the options available just need to be co-constructed and selected TO SUIT THE CONTEXT OF EACH SCHOOL’. This is right in line with our ‘one size fits one’ approach.

In the last Communiqué (next week), we will provide you with a glimpse of the tool.

3.  Summary of the He Kakano Book Proposal from Communique 33

1.       Deadline for contribution – end December 2013

2.       Who prepares it? – You as Principal OR a nominated writer or group of writers

3.       What do you write? – Many of you can use material from reports already written, including school Milestone reports or Manutaki reports. Use the following framework to guide you:

  • Context: start with a sense of your school (demography, decile, size, special character etc.)
  • Motivation: Why did we join a programme focused on cultural responsivity? What was I hoping to achieve by the school taking part in the programme? What was the need, as I saw it? (If you ‘inherited’ the programme, what did you find)?
  • Challenges: What were some of the challenges that we could see when our school first joined the programme (individually, collectively, for the school)? What were some of the other challenges that I saw once I joined? How did I overcome these challenges? What helped me?
  • Tools and Resources: What tools and resources have been useful in helping me and the school to address the challenges?
  • Successes: What have been some of the successes to date? What ‘stories’ can you tell to illustrate challenges and successes? Where has the impact of the programme been most positive – from a personal as well as professional point of view?
  • Looking Ahead: What advice would I give other schools entering into the ‘culturally responsive leadership’ space? What challenges remain and how do I aspire to address these?

4.       How long? – Up to 5,000 words each contribution

5.       We reserve the right to edit and select, but will try to find ways to publish all contributions

Mauri ora,


Hine Waitere (Professional Development Director) and Paora Howe (Professional Operations Manager)





1.       PAORA HOWE (PROFESSIONAL OPERATIONS MANAGER) AND HINE WAITERE (PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR) Paora and Hine ask the conference participants to contribute towards the flowering of the seed ('Kia Puāwai te Kākano') over the last three years, in order to make a difference for Māori students.


2.       PETER KAUA - PRINCIPAL WHANGANUI CITY COLLEGE  - Peter believes leaders need to: have strong values, 'Walk the Talk', provide opportunities to build staff capacity and cultural responsivity; support staff being open with each other and building positive relationships by their getting to know the students really well and by working with whānau and iwi.

3.       STUART HAKENEY - DP HAMILTON BOYS HIGH SCHOOL - Stuart provides a number of positive suggestions that have helped their large traditional secondary single sex school to address the challenges involved in focusing on Māori student achievement.

4.       RAKESH GOVIND - AP - PAPATOETOE HIGH SCHOOL - Rakesh explains how this large multi-ethnic school deals with the small percentage of Māori students who are underachieving by changing their approach, involving staff in things Māori, individual target setting and engaging with whānau.

5.       KEVIN SHORE - PRINCIPAL - CULLINANE COLLEGE - As a new Principal, Kevin explained how He Kākano has provided him with a useful framework for dealing with a range of issues, including dealing with low literacy levels, deficit thinking, low attendance rates, and building trust with staff and his community.


6.       JOHN RUSSELL - PRINCIPAL - NAENAE COLLEGE - John describes the challenge of focusing on Māori while also catering for the needs of the 42 different ethnic groups in the school, and how his school has developed systems and processes under its own ‘Whānau Tahi’ framework for whole-of-school development.

7.       TIM SEYMOUR AND ROWAN TAURIMA - DEANS - KAPITI COLLEGE - The school leaders made two key decisions - to focus on the senior school and to identify the staff senior and middle leaders to be involved in driving the focus on Māori student achievement. Staff hold academic conferences with students and parents, who use the Parent Portal to look at student achievement data and to talk to the staff.

8.       LES HOERARA - DP - DANNEVIRKE HIGH SCHOOL - Les describes a number of issues facing the school's attempt to raise Māori student achievement. For example, they consult well with local iwi, plan to integrate PB4L (as whānau) with the He Kākano programme, and the HoDs are co-constructing plans to be culturally responsive in junior classes.

9.       MICHAEL HART - DP - BOTANY DOWNS SECONDARY COLLEGE - Michael makes the point that in a very large new school it is important to have senior and middle leaders that support the focus on Māori students, especially in a school that has a large multi-ethnic mix (both students and staff). He seespart of the role of leaders is to de-construct and make data more accessible - especially to the students.

10.    TIM SEYMOUR, ROWAN TAURIMA, LES HOERARA, JOHN RUSSELL, MICHAEL HART - INQUIRING - The presenters talked about what they had learned by listening to each other. Key ideas include the value of collecting rich data collation about Māori students and being able to identify students at risk through the system, and the importance of building on what has already taken place in the school.


11.   KAY THOMAS (DP) - MT ROSKILL GRAMMAR  - This large school with a complex multi-ethnic mix of students (only 5% Māori) used a co-construction process involving leaders and Deans, to introduce a number of changes in the school to address the issue of Māori student achievement. They include: building a mentoring system using tracking sheets to  help the process; developing a Māori Action Plan; opening a homework centre specifically for Māori; holding a careers evening for Māori students.

12.   KARLA RALPH (DP) AND CHRIS LUKE (SENIOR DEAN) - COASTAL TARANAKI AREA SCHOOL - The school strongly supports both a cultural and academic approach, so 'Māori succeeding as Māori' is vitally important. The school has used the evidence supplied by whānau as the basis for changed practices.

13.    NGAIRE HARRIS – PRINCIPAL, HAURAKI PLAINS COLLEGE - Ngaire explains the school's River Charter, which forms the basis for the students' learning journey through school to their future lives outside the school. This requires a co-constructive approach (staff/students/whānau) that holds staff to account and that enforces a moral purpose to make a difference to the future lives of the students.

14.    PHIL McCREERY - PRINCIPAL CAMBRIDGE HIGH SCHOOL  - Phil points out that making change in the staff can happen quickly when deficit thinking about Māori student achievement is addressed by ‘looking at hearts and minds’. The leaders looked at Māori student attendance, retention (at Year 13), school leaver and discipline data. They also worked more with whānau and the student surveys revealed that they now feel a lot more positive about the school.

15.    CO-CONSTRUCTING - POST PRESENTATION DISCUSSION (Chris Luke, Ngaire Harris, Karla Ralph, Kay Watson, Phil McCreery) – While not focusing on co-constructing solutions as such, the five presenters discussed the importance of staff being able to speak in te reo Māori, especially learning their own pepeha and improving their pronunciation. They agreed that in order to engage parents it is important for them to have a real purpose. Their schools also benefited by having their meetings on the local marae.


16.    HAMISH WOOD - DEPUTY PRINCIPAL OTAKI COLLEGE - Hamish believes teachers from schools like Otaki have a lot of potential to make positive changes. The school established the Whānau Advisory Group which led to students identifying a range of problems in the schools. Three things were addressed - student -teacher relationships, teacher development and whānau engagement.

17.    BEN LAYBOURN (DP) AND JANINE SOUTHEY-TUPAEA (AP)- MAKOURA COLLEGE - The school mission -  'Kia manawanui - Whaia te tika. Whaia te pono. Whaia te aroha’ - includes  important values that form the basis for change practices. All the positive changes described have involved staff, whānau, iwi, and the students in the decision making.

18.    MARTYN KNAPTON - DP - SPOTSWOOD COLLEGE - The school is trying to get staff more engaged with data and involved in an inquiry process to improve outcomes for Māori students. The leaders looked at their appraisal system using the twelve Teachers Registration criteria as a framework, without fragmenting or compartmentalising learning.

19.    OTAKI (Hamish Wood), MAKOURA Ben Laybourne and Janine Southey-Tupaea, SPOTSWOOD (Martyn Knapton), AND OPUNAKE (Maria Potter, Barbara Fakavamoetanga) - In this conversation the school representatives talked about the different positive things they picked up from each other, and the lessons they learned from each other. Some key points include: work with where we really are; data does not lie but can openly reveal the need to shift entrenched staff to a new paradigm/ way of teaching (with appropriate support

20.    RAWIRI GIBSON – MOE- CHIEF ADVISOR NATIONAL- ACHIEVEMENT, RETENTION, TRANSITIONS  - In this presentation Rawiri discusses the role of the ARTs team and their work in schools to raise the level of NCEA Level 2 outcomes (85% of 18 Year olds achieve NCEA Level 2 or equivalent in 2017)


21.    MALCOLM COX - PRINCIPAL RAGLAN AREA SCHOOL - Malcolm talks about engaging with iwi and 'framing up for a (bi-cultural) future from which there is no going back'.  The school's mission statement 'locks us in' to providing a bi-cultural environment. Their school motto includes poutama, whakawhanaungatanga, manaakitanga and kaitiakitanga, which underpin their own 'Koia ko Tātou' framework, designed to support Māori student achievement.

22.    DR TOBY CURTIS – TE ARAWA IWI LEADER - Dr Curtis urges participants to remain firm on the kaupapa of educating Māori students for success. As a former new Principal, he once faced the challenge of engaging parents in a Catholic Boys (boarding) school, which had a history of non involvement by inviting them to run the school for day - while teachers went on pd.

23.    MICHAEL HARCOURT - HOD HISTORY WELLINGTON HIGH SCHOOL - Michael suggests we need to 'decolonise the geography we inhabit'. He suggests our own ethnocentricism 'affects the way we teach, think and understand our own curriculum areas'. He also describes the role of 'Te Whānau o Taraika' – the whānau that supports the school marae.

24.    POST PRESENTATION KŌRERO – DR TOBY CURTIS, MALCOLM COX, MICHAEL HARCOURT - ENGAGING WHĀNAU, HAPŪ, IWI AND SCHOOLS - The three speakers discuss how to build positive links between the school staff, students and the local (Māori) communities by creating (by design) an environment of trust by 'coming from the heart'.



DAYS 1- 3

1.       DION TANIWHA - BOT CHAIR - WAIOPEHU COLLEGE  - Dion says the school now has a number of Māori on the Board and sees his main challenge is to increase Māori parent involvement in school activities. Dion says the Board has a strategy to increase performance of Māori students - so watch this space!

2.       ADELE CRANSTON - HEALTH TEACHER - RUAPEHU COLLEGE - Adele radically changed her classroom environment by getting rid of the chairs and tables and introducing sofas and coffee tables. As a health teacher, Adele values the wairua of a person - looking at the whole person includes their spiritual needs. The change is not for everyone, but it works for Adele.

3.       MELISSA DENZLER - DP – NOW WELLINGTON GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL , FORMERLY WAINUIOMATA COLLEGE – In her new role in a large city single sex school Melissa’s challenge is to 'take small steps' and transfer what she has learned from her old school to the new school by ‘taking small steps’ (such as examining AREA data and working to put the discussion of the school's small but identifiable number of Māori girls to the forefront of staff discussions).

4.       KANIA WORSLEY - STAFF MEMBER ST JOSEPHS SCHOOL FOR MĀORI GIRLS – Kania, as a staff member of St. Joseph's school, commented on the wairua among the conference participants - the desire to seek out each other and offer help and support - and the strong sense of whanaungatanga - of the conference members feeling they are part of a larger family.

5.       ZAC ANDERSON - DP - WAIROA COLLEGE – Zac explains what she has learned from being a staff member at a He Kākano school (St Johns College, Hastings) and what she has taken to her new school - her desire to maintain the passion and urgency to change and improve things for the Māori students in her school.

6.       KARLA RALPH AND BEN NAUGHTON - COASTAL TARANAKI AREA SCHOOL - These two senior leaders talk about the changes they have made to data collation and analysis and to processes in the school, in order to address student achievement. The staff have continued to develop their cultural competencies and their success with parents in programmes like Dream Weaver, which has had a positive 'knock on' effect, by developing more engagement with whānau.



 SCHOOL/IWI RELATIONSHIPS – Puketeraki Marae, Karitane

1.       GERRY WARD – PRINCIPAL MENZIES COLLEGE, SOUTHLAND  - Gerry explains how involvement in He Kākano has helped the school focus on Māori student data and what that told them – for example, that families influence attendance, that it is important to look at retention data early and how important it is to survey students regularly for ideas and 'drill down further'

2.       JANINE KAPA, NGĀI TAHU: PRESENTER - Janine gives examples of how mainstream education institutions can successfully link with iwi, hapū and whānau. Janine stresses the importance of relationships and connections and the cultural context of others that we need to be aware of.

3.       JULIE ANDERSON PRINCIPAL QUEENS HIGHSCHOOL, DUNEDIN: “Tradition, time and trust” Julie shares the history of the relationships that the school has established with Ngāi Tahu. She stresses the importance of inter-dependence and the time and trust required to develop meaningful relationships that are mutually beneficial.

4.       KATARINA RUCKSTUHL, NGĀI TAHU: Katarina discusses the role of schools in their communities and the expectation that schools need to successfully engage with Māori students. She feels that what happens on the marae is integral to the community and being Māori, and schools, while not expected to teach Māori students to be Māori, can make being Māori something to be valued.


5.       WAYNE HEGARTY – PRINCIPAL- MARLBOROUGH BOYS COLLEGE - Wayne gives an overview of how Marlborough Boys has worked towards Māori students achieving as Māori by: developing links with tangata whenua and involving Māori students in community activities; developing culturally appropriate programmes; and having high expectations of all students. 

6.       BRENDA ELLIS - PRINCIPAL SALISBURY SCHOOL - Brenda describes how He Kākano helped provide a framework for a systems review focussed on four of their many systems which include: manaakitanga (relationships); managing behaviour; the appraisal system (to bring about collaborative change); and transitioning of students in and out of Salisbury

7.       LINDA HUTT, DEPUTY PRINCIPAL, WESTLAND HIGH SCHOOL - Linda outlines the journey that she and her school have made since their initial involvement with the He Kākano programme and how the development of school values, that were more inclusive of Māori students, was the start of a more inclusive environment for all students.

8.       JARLATH KELLY - PRINCIPAL VERDON COLLEGE - Jarlath explains how his focus on equity and change began with the first wānanga at Puketeraki Marae where the school leaders were all starting at ‘that uncomfortable space where change is'. The changes he has since implemented in his school build on the desire to strengthen te ao Māori in his school and the relationships that come with it - with the local kura, and with his staff and students.

9.       POSITIONING REPOSITIONING – JARLATH KELLY, LINDA HUTT, BRENDA ELLIS AND WAYNE HEGARTY – POST PRESENTATION KŌRERO - In the post presentation interview, these four school leaders discuss the challenges they have faced in developing relationships with Māori students and whānau and the challenge of putting themselves in the uncomfortable spaces of learning te reo Māori and waiata.


10.    HARRY ROMONA - PRINCIPAL MAIREHAU HIGH SCHOOL - Harry describes how important it is as a leader to develop a culture of accountability. Everyone is accountable for ensuring that they play a part in aligning their roles and purpose - from the school's Charter, Faculty plans though to the teacher goals and targets.

11.    ELEANOR QUAID AND PAULINE LAWRENCE - (APs)WAKATIPU HIGH SCHOOL - These experienced leaders describe their school's journey and how a real challenge for the school is to build a sense of community where there has previously been none. Data is valuable for that. Her ‘weaving cloth’ metaphor illustrates the need for a careful process.

12.    ANDY WOOD – PRINCIPAL – JAMES HARGEST HIGH SCHOOL - Andy talks about the confidence he and the school has gained from the sense of direction and the framework provided by the He Kākano project – and his growing understanding that the answers were not the responsibility of some outside resource but the responsibility of the whole school community.

13.    ANDY ENGLAND – PRINCIPAL – GREYMOUTH HIGH - Andy discusses the role of He Kākano and PB4L in turning around a school that was assessed by ERO as ‘under-performing’. Andy explains how the use of data provided a way forward for the school.

14.    INQUIRING - ANDY WOOD, ANDY ENGLAND, HARRY ROMONA, ELEANOR QUAID AND PAULINE LAWRENCE – POST PRESENTATION KŌRERO - These school leaders discuss the importance of interrogating data about Māori student achievement and putting the data in front of teachers and asking the question 'Are you ok with this?' Having a default position of 'treating every student the same' did not work.


15.    REX SMITH – PRINCIPAL – NAYLAND COLLEGE - CO-CONSTRUCTING- Rex talks about his 'hikoi' as a starting school leader using co-constructing to solve issues. As a PB4L school they co-constructed the ideal relationships and values that the whole school community wants under the umbrella phrase 'Manaaki Nayland'. Spread among middle leaders has been critical for sustainability. They now co-construct solutions to their issues and all staff now work intensively with four Māori students each. 

16.    YVONNE BROWNING – PRINCIPAL – SOUTHLAND GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL - Yvonne discusses the processes that her school has used to co-construct their way towards achieving the goal of raising Māori student achievement by involving staff and whānau. School goals are co-constructed from the bottom up; beginning with the staff looking at the evidence, through to the Board of Trustees who are guided by decisions that have been made by staff and whānau. 

17.    JANE JOHNSON - PRINCIPAL LOGAN PARK HIGH SCHOOL - Jane explains how the inclusive open-minded nature of her staff helped the process of focusing on Māori students. Co-constructing takes place on a topic each week, such as how to help students 'on the margins' of success.

18.    PAUL DONNELLY – ACTING PRINCIPAL ST THOMAS OF CANTERBURY – Paul talks about the impact of He Kākano and the ‘revolutionary journey of mind and heart’ that the school has experienced since joining the programme. Paul describes how the challenges of euro-centrism are being answered through the process of asking questions and co constructing solutions across all levels of the school community.

19.    CO-CONSTRUCTING - JANE JOHNSON, REX SMITH, YVONNE BROWNING AND PAUL DONNELLY – POST PRESENTATION KŌRERO - The four leaders discussed ideas raised by each school in their presentation, such as holding regular co-construction meetings that has led to a conscious shift in leadership style ('It's not about us'), and to a proper alignment of different  programmes (such as He Kākano with PB4L). Co-construction as a process is a 'community effort' that 'requires everyone to be involved'.


20.    JOANNE HUTT, PRINCIPAL SOUTH OTAGO HIGH SCHOOL - Joanne shares the journey of South Otago High School to create a more inclusive environment for Māori students, where no student is left behind. She describes how the cultural competencies are used by HODs as an observation template to help teachers develop their teaching strategies and assist all students to achieve.

21.    WERNER VAN ASWERGEN - PRINCIPAL KAIKOURA HIGH - Werner discusses the journey of the school to encourage Māori students to have a sense of pride in their cultural identity and to increase the level of engagement with the school by Māori students and their whānau.

22.    TOM PARSONS – PRINCIPAL QUEEN CHARLOTTE COLLEGE – Tom talks about the importance of schools cooperating and collaborating and emphasises the role of manaakitanga in school leadership, and the need to lead with moral purpose to address issues of equity in education.

23.    MEL HAMILTON – DP – GORE HIGH SCHOOL  - Mel talks about engagement at all levels of Gore High School, both the successful and not so successful attempts to engage with staff, students and iwi , and how the school dealt with the issue of high numbers of student suspensions by focussing on improving the relationships between staff and students.


24.    NOLA TIPA & PROFESSOR KYLA RUSSELL – NGĀI TAHU – SCHOOL AND IWI PARTNERSHIPS - Nola and Kyla describe school and iwi partnerships from their perspective as iwi representatives. They stress that school leaders may come and go but that iwi represented an intergenerational presence in the region and that schools needed to be patient when trying to establish partnerships with iwi, as many iwi representatives are often unpaid volunteers.

25.    ARAHIA BENNETT - CEO TE RUNANGA O NGAI TAHU – Arahia talks about the iwi of Ngāi Tahu, their initiatives in education and the learning pathways that the iwi is travelling to develop those initiatives. In the post settlement phase of iwi development she explains how her iwi is defining their priorities in education.

26.    CHAZ DOHERTY - ART TEACHER - TE KURA TOITU O TE WHAITINUI A TOI - Chaz reflects on the hui and what they as people from Tuhoe have seen as they have observed proceedings. He sums it up in this way: all who have come to the conference have brought ' he ngākau Māori' to the conference - that is, a deep sense of the willingness of schools to support Māori'. He encourages all present to continue their journey because they 'bring mana to the kōrero'. 


1.       WERNER VAN ASWERGEN - PRINCIPAL KAIKOURA HIGH SCHOOL - Werner explains how the Māori students from the school joined with the local high school on a 'noho marae' last year which ended up in their taking full ownership of the whole pōwhiri process for the rest of the school that came on to the marae later. This significant event has had a number of positive 'spin off' effects in terms of student behaviour and learning.

2.       TOM PARSONS - PRINCIPAL QUEEN CHARLOTTE COLLEGE - Tom explains how his school has been able to develop its own bus service and a salmon farm that involves the students in 'science for life'. He believes achievement standards need to be 'fit for purpose' so the students can go into meaningful employment.

3.       TEENA HENDERSON - GREYMOUTH HIGH SCHOOL – Teena explains how she supports Greymouth HS as a 'mana whenua' representative. - building the relationship with the school so that it can address Māori student underachievement.

4.       PROFESSOR KYLA RUSSELL – NGĀI TAHU – OTAGO POLYTECHNIC – Kyla discusses the importance of school leaders understanding what Māori learning ‘as Māori’ means and stresses the importance of supporting the passion and interest of students to engage them in learning.

5.       JANINE KAPA - NGAI TAHU IWI REPRESENTATIVE - Janine explains how education has been part of her whānau history. She believes that it is important for leaders to role model, value and validate Māori knowledge, and allow Māori students to 'achieve as Māori'

Return to top ^