COI Te Kōpae Piripono: Ko koe kei tēnā kīwai, ko au kei tēnei kīwai o te kete (You carry your handle and I’ll carry my handle, of our kete)

Publication Details

This report documents a three-year Centre of Innovation research project, carried out by the whānau of Te Kōpae Piripono Māori immersion early childhood centre, into its exploration of leadership and the critical importance of whānau development in ensuring successful educational experiences and fulfilled lives for Māori children and their families.

Author(s): Aroaro Tamati, Erana Hond-Flavell, Hinerangi Korewha and the whānau of Te Kōpae Piripono.

Date Published: December 2008

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This report is available as a download (please refer to the 'Downloads' inset box).  The 'Where to Find Out More inset box has links to related publications/ information that may be of interest.  Individual chapters are available as downloads on this webpage (below).

Executive Summary

Centre of Innovation Research Report of Te Kōpae Piripono

For Te Kōpae Piripono, whānau development involves the learning and development of every member of its whānau, whether that be children, parents, teachers, or management. Therefore, a key aspect of its kaupapa is the support and development of the whole whānau, not just the child enrolled. Te Kōpae Piripono's research project sought to explore, in depth, its whānau development structure and its own conceptualisation of leadership at Te Kōpae Piripono – that leadership (or what Te Kōpae Piripono refers to as Mana Tangata) be viewed in relation to four key responsibilities - Ngā Takohanga e Wha - Having Responsibility, Taking Responsibility, Sharing Responsibility and Being Responsible. Using Te Tātai Whakapapa - the structure and concepts of the original whānau of Ranginui and Papatüānuku – as its conceptual framework, the whānau of Te Kōpae Piripono set about answering its research question, "How does whānau development foster leadership across all levels, enhance children's learning and development?" This led Te Kōpae Piripono on an unexpected journey. The whānau discovered that fear and anxiety afflict us, young and old, and are major impediments to our individual and collective development. Fear was found to be a significant barrier to whānau participation – particularly fathers' involvement - in their children's learning. The research data revealed that these emotional difficulties are generations old; the long-term consequences of families' lived experiences of education and of hardships due to colonisation and the muru raupatu - the massive land confiscations of the 19th century. Fostering leadership across all levels proved an intriguing challenge. The Te Kōpae Piripono whānau found that with perseverance, caring and empathy, and persistent positive action and support, individual and collective whānau were able to begin to be open and honest with each other, to learn to trust and to gain an inner peace. When whānau gain a sense of trust and equilibrium – through being, having, sharing and taking responsibility - the dynamic transformative ripples are wide and far-reaching, particularly for children. When this happens, the children of Te Kōpae Piripono are likely to grow up proudly Māori and fully participant citizens of the world.


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