Ngā Haeata Mātauranga: Annual Report on Māori Education 2007/08

Publication Details

Ngā Haeata Mātauranga: The Annual Report on Māori Education, 2007/08 is the ministry’s one-stop-shop for data, evidence and information about Māori education.

Author(s): Education Information and Analysis Group and Group Māori, Ministry of Education.

Date Published: February 2009

Please consider the environment before printing the contents of this report.

This report is available as a download (please refer to the 'Downloads' inset box).  To view individual chapters please refer to the 'Sections' inset box.  Links to related publications/ information can be found in the 'Where to Find Out More' inset box. To download individual chapters visit 'Downloads' in the Sections inset box.

Chapter 5: Organisational Success

This chapter looks at what has been achieved in 2007/08 to make progress towards the Organisational Success goals of Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success.

5.1: Introduction

The overarching goal for the ministry and the sector is to build a world-leading education system that equips all New Zealanders with the knowledge, skills and values to be successful citizens in the 21st century.

The ministry's ability to deliver its core services and major initiatives depends on the capacity and capability of its people and physical resources. This also requires a planned approach to investment and prioritisation. The Organisational Success  focus area recognises that achievement of the outcomes in Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success depends on how all staff within the ministry incorporate it into the way they work. For the ministry, ownership and accountability for the implementation of the strategy sits with everyone in the organisation – rather than just Māori staff or staff working in Māori-specific areas.

The ministry's organisational success also depends on the ability to work effectively with other agencies across government and to provide leadership to other agencies in the education sector.

Organisational success recognises that the ministry needs to focus on itself and its role in the education sector in order to lead the system change that Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success requires. Therefore, this chapter reports on what the organisation itself is doing to improve education outcomes for and with Māori. However, this change is not going to occur without the knowledge and expertise of students, educators, parents and whānau, iwi, education agencies and community groups.

5.2: Strategic focus

In its Statement of Intent 2008–2013, the ministry has recognised that priority must be given to improving the performance of the system for those groups of learners traditionally under-served – including Māori learners, Pasifika learners and learners with special education needs.

The ministry also identified organisational success as a priority to improve equity, stating the outcome to be 'education agencies work efficiently and effectively to achieve education outcomes'.  The intermediate outcome is 'building leadership, accountability, relationships, competence and confidence'.

Organisational success, in this report, refers to the ministry's role in leading and facilitating a 21st century education system that is effective for and with Māori learners. 'Effective' means that Māori learners experience success as Māori as they progress towards their goals. It also means that Māori learners can access quality teaching and learning opportunities in Māori-medium education.

The principles and goals outlined in Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success, and overall shift in Māori education outcomes, are seen as vital to organisational success for the ministry. Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success therefore forms the key framework to guide the thinking, decision-making and investment of the ministry in order to achieve success for and with Māori learners. 

Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success emphasises the need for strong leadership in Māori education across the ministry and the education sector and the need for more ministry people to have confidence working closely with Māori. It emphasises increased ministry accountability for outcomes and using the evidence of what makes the greatest difference for and with Māori learners.

In 2007/08, embedding Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success within the ministry got under way. The 2007/08 year has seen the strategy finalised and launched and the setting up of a platform for transformation within the ministry itself. It has been a year of strengthening existing systems and processes, and developing the new ones required to deliver on the strategy.

This chapter sets out the ministry's progress towards achieving the key Organisational Success goals of Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success:

  • provide strong leadership among government agencies for Māori education
  • build the ministry's capacity and confidence to lift performance for and with Māori
  • embed Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success in all ministry business planning processes and documents
  • use evidence deliberately to focus decisions and investments on what works for and with Māori learners
  • continue to invest in relationships with iwi Māori and other Māori education groups
  • enable the ministry to be better informed and communicate with the education sector and within the ministry itself.

Strong leadership

The 2007/08 period has seen the ministry give Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success high priority for improving education outcomes for and with Māori learners.

Solutions to complex problems, and seizing opportunities to improve outcomes, are more likely to happen where organisations share their expertise, operational capabilities and relationships. The ministry has an acknowledged leadership role in the sector, which includes coordination with other sector and government agencies and forums to achieve shared goals through cross-sector work programmes.

For example, the inter-agency project Schools Plus was launched in 2008. Schools Plus seeks to address the number of young New Zealanders who leave school without the qualifications they need to succeed. Young people need to be given the opportunity to develop skills to secure their own future and to contribute to the highly-skilled workforce New Zealand requires for economic growth. The focus of Schools Plus on better education and career planning through plans directly reflects the goals of Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success in the Young People Engaged in Learning focus area.

To achieve Schools Plus reforms are planned in secondary schooling to open up the pathways beyond school. The ministry is leading this work. Key agencies include the Ministry of Social Development, the Department of Labour, the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) and Te Puni Kokiri.

Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success has been accepted as the overarching strategy for Māori education policy and activity in all the government education agencies, which include the Education Review Office (ERO), the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA), the Tertiary Education Commission, Career Services and the New Zealand Teachers Council.

These education agencies are now working with their staff to give practical effect to Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success in a variety of ways which reinforce the importance of inter-agency collaboration to improve cohesive service delivery for Māori.

Each year the Minister of Education (for NZQA, Career Services and the Teachers Council) and the Minister for Tertiary Education (for TEC) outline their key expectations of these government entities. Letters of Expectations from the Ministers to the agencies shape the strategic planning and priority setting of the organisations. In 2008, these letters specifically requested that agencies prioritise Māori education achievement and align their work and Māori strategies to Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success.

The ministry also monitors these education agencies to measure achievement of their priorities. The agencies report annually to Parliament against their Statements of Intent, outlining their achievements. The annual reports presented to the House of Representatives in late 2009 will show the progress being made in meeting the expectations outlined to them by the Ministers in 2008.

For TEC, the Letter of Expectations asked it to support the advancement of Māori tertiary qualification and training through the implementation of specific goals and priorities specified in the Tertiary Education Strategy 2007–2012.

The ministry has been working with TEC to develop performance indicators for tertiary education providers, so the performance of providers can be assessed by TEC for funding purposes.

In 2008 TEC embarked on two research projects which aim to understand factors that lead to successful outcomes for both Māori learners and students of Te Wananga o Aotearoa.

Another example of building a collaborative relationship is the joint working group to develop a relationship agreement with the three wananga. The ministry participates in a Chief Executive forum consisting of Chief Executives from the ministry, TEC, NZQA and the three wananga. It was agreed that a joint working group would be established to resolve a recommendation from the Waitangi Tribunal for the two parties to complete a partnership agreement or establish "a structure that would give the three wananga as a group participation at the highest levels as well as provide for a one-to-one relationship with individual wānanga". The joint working group has met to confirm and establish relationship principles. The joint working group comprises representatives from each of the wananga, Te Tauihu o Ngā Wānanga (the association for the wananga) and officials from the ministry, TEC, and NZQA.

In the letter to NZQA, the Minister of Education proposed key priorities for the organisation for the coming year, one of which was supporting the advancement of Māori education and training. The key focus to achieve this priority was suggested to be the implementation of Te Rautaki Māori o te Mana Tohu Mātauranga (NZQA's Māori strategy), ensuring alignment with Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success.

The ministry has begun to work with NZQA to ensure that there is strategic and practical alignment between Te Rautaki and Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success. In broad terms, all of the 16 key actions in Te Rautaki support the learner outcomes identified in Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success.

Another example of a collaborative project is the Māori-medium Teacher Education Officials Group, which is working to develop a strong evidence base and connected policy development process to support outcomes for Māori-medium learners in schooling through a focus on teacher education and workforce. NZQA's particular contribution to this work is through their quality assurance role in approving and providing accreditation of initial teacher education.

The Minister of Education requested that the New Zealand Teachers Council and Career Services incorporate specific support for Māori achievement, and contribute to the delivery of Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success.

One example of such a contribution is the collaborative project between the ministry, Te Puni Kokiri and Career Services, to improve career planning information and support for learners and their whānau, which is a specific action in Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success. This is a three-phase project – with the first phase working with whānau in the Nelson/Marlborough and Manawatu regions to build their knowledge of career planning tools and information.

The ministry is working with ERO to determine how Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success can be used to shape the reviews they conduct in early childhood education (ECE) services and schools. Currently, discussions are being held with ERO national office staff as well as regionally-based review teams to support understanding of the strategy, and its application in the review process and evaluative questions.

As well as its reviews of schools and ECE services, ERO published over 40 national reports in 2007/08 evaluating many areas, including:

  • The quality of teaching and learning in kura Māori
  • Māori children in early childhood: pilot study
  • Schools' provision for students at risk of not achieving
  • Schools' provision for gifted and talented students
  • Boys' education: good practice in secondary schools
  • Good practice in supporting and engaging senior secondary students
  • Partners in learning: schools' engagement with parents, whānau and communities
  • An evaluation of the quality of Māori language teaching in secondary schools: Manukau
  • Good practice in Te Aho Matua kura kaupapa Māori
  • Review of curriculum materials to support the teaching and learning of te reo Māori.

In addition to the education agencies, the ministry also works with Te Puni Kokiri to improve cohesive policy development and service delivery for and with Māori. Te Puni Kokiri is the lead agency for the government's Māori Language Strategy, for which the ministry is a key contributor. The Māori Language Strategy sets out the 25-year vision for revitalisation of the Māori language. The ministry's role in the strategy's implementation is as the lead agency in the education sector.

Capacity and confidence

The ability of all staff in the ministry to work confidently and capably for and with Māori to improve education outcomes is critical to the success of Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success. The responsibility for the strategy sits with everyone in the ministry.

The ministry is seeking to build leadership, accountability and competence by attracting and retaining a skilled workforce within the ministry. This encompasses workforce development and building the leadership and management capabilities that enable an engaged workforce.

Building the capability and engagement of staff to support the ministry to meet its Treaty of Waitangi obligations is another goal.

The ministry is currently developing a Human Resources Strategy that will have the dual focus of ensuring a supportive and culturally affirming workplace for Māori staff and supporting non-Māori staff to build their confidence and capability in leading and delivering change for and with Māori. This strategy is expected to be finalised in late 2008 and will be incorporated into performance planning and management processes in 2009.

In October 2008, the ministry ran the internationally recognised Gallup Staff Engagement Survey for the second time. This internal survey asks all full-time permanent members of staff to answer questions on the extent to which they feel engaged in the organisation. The basis of the online questionnaire is the Gallup Q12 questions, which have been tested and developed using evidence of what makes an effective organisation.

This survey is an important measure for the ministry, and will be run annually to measure the impact that development and engagement strategies are having on the effectiveness of the organisation. The 2008 survey also provided an opportunity to measure the impact of the action planning that teams do following the release of their results, showing areas where they as a team could focus to improve their engagement and effectiveness.

Since the first Gallup survey, the ministry has undergone some internal restructuring, following the Organisational Development Programme implemented in 2006. The 2008 survey results will therefore be a measure of these internal changes and provide some actions going forward for the organisation.

Survey results will be released in early 2009 and will inform the development of the Human Resources Strategy.

A significant internal action to improve the ministry's responsiveness is the development of a responsivity framework by the ministry's Special Education group, called Te Hikoitanga: Pathway to Success. The purpose of this framework is to ensure that special education practitioners, service teams and the wider organisation are successful in delivering responsive services to tamariki and their whānau. The framework aims to provide guidance so that services are culturally relevant, are flexible to meet the diverse realities of whānau and acknowledge the right of whānau to determine the best service outcomes for themselves. This framework therefore is one of a suite of tools aimed at realising Māori potential through equitable access to services. Collectively these tools aim to improve outcomes for Māori.

Te Hikoitanga recognises that while mātauranga Māori and tikanga Māori reside in and belong to Māori communities, they have the capacity to enhance and strengthen professional knowledge in special education. Central to the framework is the Treaty of Waitangi which sets obligations for the Crown to work in partnership with Māori, acknowledges the right of Māori to determine their own outcomes and seeks equitable access to services for Māori.

The development of the tool aligns with the Organisational Success focus area of Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success as it supports staff to build confidence and capability when working with iwi, whānau and Māori communities. The national Special Education Māori management team of pouwhakarewa developed the tool and it was published and disseminated in September 2008. Each pouwhakarewa will determine how best to introduce Te Hikoitanga to staff in their regions in the remainder of the 2008 year. Formal monitoring and evaluation of its effectiveness will be undertaken in April 2009.

It is expected that the implementation of Te Hikoitanga and the evaluation will inform strategic, business and action plans and planning processes within and across the Special Education group.

In 2008, another important initiative to help staff be more responsive to Māori has been the development of the Special Education group's Māori cultural supervision training programme. One-on-one supervision from a trained kaiwhakahaere ahurea supports staff to examine their own practice using the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi and a reflective questioning technique. Through this programme, non-Māori staff in the group are supported to problem-solve cultural issues as a means to working more effectively with Māori children and their whānau. A national training team has now trained 49 kaiwhakahaere ahurea to work in the regions.

The following case study profiles an innovative and successful kaupapa Māori approach to providing special education services developed in Christchurch. The approach has been developed using the Treaty principles and Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success as foundation documents.

The following case study looks at what has been achieved in 2007/08 to make progress towards the Organisational Success goals of Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success.

Case study 7

Innovative kaupapa Māori approach just magic

Above photo of Ministry of Education special education team (left to right): Miriama Te Karu (Ngāti Kahungunu), Kimberley Wilson, Sue Sealey (Ngāi Tahu) and Sue Ovens.

This case study describes how Ministry of Education (Special Education) adapted the way they work to better suit the needs of one local Christchurch whānau – Wiki and her five children. Wiki's surname and some personal details have been omitted at her request.

Special Education staff work directly with whānau and children at home and within early childhood education services and schools to help children with special education needs learn and develop. Staff provide specialist services such as physiotherapy, early intervention services and speech language therapy to families who refer themselves, or who are referred by an early childhood service, education or health agency.

Here staff talk about bringing an innovative kaupapa Māori approach to meet the cultural needs of Wiki and her whānau. The ministry would like to thank Wiki for sharing her story.

They weren't on a marae. They couldn't be on a marae. Yet, in every way possible, the Christchurch special education team wanted their service to reflect a marae.

Kaitakawaenga Sue Sealey explains: "We wanted our service to reflect a holistic approach using marae protocols and tikanga as our basis – that was our aim."

"As we started to work with Wiki and her whānau we wanted to draw from kaupapa Māori, whanaungatanga, manaakitanga, using our internal Māori strategy as our guide. We wanted these things to be our foundation, our starting point."

Sue Sealey made initial contact with Wiki in November 2006 – and later introduced early intervention teacher Sue Ovens to work with the whānau as their lead worker.

For the past 18 months, Sue Ovens has led a team of many who have supported the Christchurch whānau to realise their aspirations for their tamariki and create positive outcomes.

The team's work began with assessing and providing specialist services to one of Wiki's youngest, Jokani, who has a range of special education needs, including developmental delay, challenging behaviour and a history of ear infections that led to speech delay.

In time, the team came to realise the range of issues among Wiki's five children, whose ages ranged from 18 months to eight years. The behaviour of the two older siblings was a concern, while the second youngest child had medical needs that impacted on his wellbeing and development.

The team decided to rethink the way they worked and develop a new, more collaborative and coordinated approach, which involved school focus team colleagues Miriama Te Karu, kaitakawaenga, and Bridget Scott, special education advisor.

They also used a Strengthening Families approach to work across government agencies to bring together and provide the range of broader government services and support that Wiki needed.

Today, all five children have made huge progress and are more engaged in learning. The children's behaviour has improved, creating the opportunity to bond with extended whānau, making friends, taking part in after-school activities and enjoying one another's company.

Life at home is calm and happy – a sense of feeling that's slowly transferring to their early childhood education and school settings, too. Wiki says the changes have given her the confidence she needed to find out more about parenting and committing to her tamariki.

"At its heart, this approach is about doing some things the same and some things differently. If we truly believe as an organisation that we want to make a difference, then we need skill, belief, passion and respect for one another's professional skills, knowledge and cultural backgrounds. But we also need to be open to change," says Sue Ovens.

Together, ministry specialists have regularly visited Wiki at home to provide advice and support. Specialists say they've improved their own relationships and developed a better understanding about how early intervention and school specialists can work together.

In the early days, as part of the assessment phase, the early intervention team hosted a hui involving a range of specialists and Wiki's whole whānau. Together, they shared kai, gathered information, ran assessments, discussed and trialled parenting approaches and generally got to know one another.

"The atmosphere was as it is in a marae – we enjoyed and respected one another's views; it was a safe environment," says Sue Sealey.

The team integrated a culturally-responsive service with guidance from the kaitakawaenga. For example, Wiki initially felt concerned that Jokani (her second youngest child) would lose his mana and place in the whānau because of his impaired learning and development that left him behind his younger sibling.

Sue Sealey says: "We gave it a lot of thought and discussed it among ourselves and realised that he is the tuakana. We could see we all had a role in supporting Wiki and her whānau to uplift Jokani to maintain his position in the whānau."

The team has become more adept at seeing a child (or children, in this case) in their broader whānau context and ensuring organisational processes and systems support and strengthen – not overwhelm or limit – their ability to work well with whānau where the needs are complex.

Sue says they won't necessarily roll out the same steps and approach for all whānau they work with. Tailoring their response to the specific needs of each whānau remains a top priority. However she says that the team's learned a huge range of practices they'll continue to use and integrate into the way they work now and in the future, which means a lot to her.

"This journey has given us the courage, as individuals and as a team, to develop our professional and personal skills in our responsiveness to achieving better outcomes for tamariki, mokopuna and their whānau."

Miriama Te Karu, the school team's kaitakawaenga, agrees and says: "Wiki is our taonga. We're just so proud of her. She's brought us all closer together and she's given us huge belief in our ability as government agency workers to bring about positive change by improving the way we do things at the individual and team level. Her inner strength and the confidence she has gained throughout this process has been amazing and humbling to watch."

Wiki agrees that her life and the life of her children have changed immeasurably over the past year or two.

Looking back, she says she'd almost lost faith in government agencies by the time the ministry's special education team arrived. She'd been in touch with so many and so few had really delivered.

"To be honest, at the start, I thought a magic wand would be the only thing that would successfully change my situation. But Sue and the team have really come through for us; they've really made a difference," says Wiki.

Individual teams across the ministry are running workshops with their staff to support their capability and capacity in leading the system change for and with Māori learners.

The ministry's Central South regional office has developed clear and consistent understanding of protocols and process for ministry events, powhiri and other events, and has developed a network of Māori staff to provide cultural advice and support to non-Māori staff. Central South Region staff are demonstrating their increased confidence and capability in facilitating forums for and with Māori, supported by a strategic Māori reference group.

In the Central North Region, ministry staff have used the targets in Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success to work with the Student Engagement Initiative schools in their region. This has required ministry staff to be clear about what the strategy means in practice in their work, and also in the work of these schools in engaging Māori learners in education. The ministry has supported schools to identify the actions required to meet the goals.

To do this, ministry staff highlighted the targets from Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success that particularly applied in relation to year 9 and 10 learners, and the key actions that would achieve those targets. This provided the schools with a clear idea of the practical things they could do to support their year 9 and 10 learners, and showed them how the strategy worked in practice.

In June 2008, in the Northern Region, staff from Special Education and Early Childhood and Regional Education set up a cross-functional Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success Lead Team to develop a regional plan and framework for effectively implementing Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success

Good progress has been made by the Northern Region Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success Lead Team: undertaking cross-functional working groups to progress areas of focus; individual managers and team leaders working with their teams to integrate the priorities of Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success into ways of thinking, working and work programmes; and strengthening the coordination, cohesion and the communication of Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success as central to the region's core business. Work in all these areas will continue in 2009.

The ministry's Schooling Grouping has established a Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success working group. To date its focus has been on providing managers in the Schooling Grouping with professional learning opportunities to engage in and develop ways to implement the strategy. A range of tools has been provided to them to support the managers' subsequent work with their own teams.

Embed Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success in the ministry

Key to the successful implementation of Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success  is ensuring the strategy informs and drives the policies, processes and structures of the ministry. This means using the evidence to be clear about what works for and with Māori learners, and as a basis for making decisions about shifting resources and funding to better support what works.

In 2007/08 the ministry developed a new annual business planning process and cycle. This is part of the ministry's increasing focus on accountability for outcomes and a regular planning and reporting cycle. It also supports a more coordinated organisation where team and group activity complement, rather than duplicate each other.

This business planning process included the development of guidelines, templates and tools, and was supported by training for all managers across the organisation. The training focused on enabling managers to make the links between the ministry's strategic priorities and the key actions to achieve those priorities.

As a result of the business planning process, which required all teams across the ministry to explicitly outline what they were going to do to contribute to Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success, some ministry teams have set up Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success working groups. The focus of these groups has been to delve further into the strategy, and its underpinning evidence, and lead their team through the integration of their goals and actions into their business plan.

The business planning process also supports the greater focus on measuring the gains that the system is making against the targets and measures in Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success.

A Measurable Gains Framework is being developed to monitor and evaluate the success of Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success. The intention is to provide accurate and timely information to stakeholders on successes in Māori education and identify the links between change and the actions of strategy.

Initial development of the framework began in 2007/08 and discussions are still being held on how it will be embedded into the regular monitoring and reporting processes of the ministry.

The framework is important for enabling systematic monitoring and reporting of data against outcomes and priorities for Māori learners in Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success. Information from monitoring and reporting of data will better enable the ministry to focus clearly on what works for and with Māori and to use the latest evidence to readjust government investments and support continuous improvement.

Use evidence deliberately to focus decisions

Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success is based on the latest evidence showing what works for and with Māori in education. Both the quality and quantity of education research, data and evidence has increased over the past 10 years, and there is now a clear picture of those things that make the most impact on Māori learner outcomes.

To support the implementation of Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success, the ministry developed a booklet for staff setting out the key evidence that underpinned the strategy. This booklet proved popular within the ministry as teams across the ministry worked on applying the strategy to their work. The ministry is aiming to put this information on the Education Counts website.

Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success has a focus on supporting the ministry to better understand both the range of evidence that supports informed decision-making, and also how to use that evidence to focus policy, activity and investment where it will have the most impact.

The ministry has a significant research programme that investigates specific areas of activity and focus to build the knowledge base about what works.

The internationally respected iterative Best Evidence Synthesis is a programme led by the ministry, drawing together the relevant evidence to inform policy development and system development. To date, six syntheses have been released, covering quality teaching, professional development, effective pedagogy, and community and family influences on children's achievement. Two more are being developed; one on effective pedagogy in social studies/social sciences and one on educational leadership (schooling).

For example, the Teacher Professional Learning and Development BES synthesised the international and New Zealand evidence around the emerging knowledge base about how to promote teacher learning in ways that impact on outcomes for the diversity of students.

The BES contains a case study on establishing a culturally-responsive pedagogy of relations based on the successful Te Kotahitanga project. Te Kotahitanga is a complex professional development intervention involving the use of a series of smart tools including an effective teaching profile. The programme aims to improve outcomes across the curriculum for year 9 and 10 Māori learners in English-medium schools. It aims to support teachers to reflect on their practice and the assumptions that they make in their relationships with their Māori learners and create culturally appropriate and responsive contexts for learning in their classrooms.

The case study in the BES explored the context, timeframe, focus and goals of the projects and looked at the impact on learners, both before the professional development of their teachers and after. It also analysed what was learned through the professional development, how the learning occurred, what the teacher responses to the professional development and learning was and the impact on learner NCEA results.

In 2007/08, the ministry produced more than 45 reports and publications to assist strategic policy advice and evidence-based decision-making. The reports covered a range of subjects, including teacher professional development, transition from primary to secondary school, successful home–school partnerships and boys' achievement.

All of these reports can be found on the Education Counts website.

The Education Review Office (ERO) released reports on a variety of topics, using the results and data gathered in the regular review cycle. See the details in the earlier section of this chapter and on the ERO website.

Teams across the ministry have been studying the evidence to inform their thinking and decision-making. In many cases this has been supported by professional development and learning time during team meetings, enabling both high-level alignment and in-depth, critical analysis of the evidence.

The evidence has also been used as a catalyst to reorientate work, and support programmes and initiatives that are showing results for Māori learners. In 2008, the ministry reprioritised funding to trial the Reading Together programme. Reading Together is a home–school literacy partnership programme evidencing good outcomes for Māori students in English-medium education. The funding allowed the production of a further 300 copies of the teacher and whānau resources to support a trial in English-medium schools with a high Māori learner population. The trial will be evaluated to measure the impact on the relationships between whānau and their children, as well as the learner literacy achievement data.

Nga Haeata Mātauranga 2007/08 has been structured around Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success to more directly report on progress in implementing the strategy.

The ministry is also developing an approach to more regularly report progress against the strategy, and to disseminate it in an accessible and up-to-date manner. This has led to the development of a dedicated page on the Education Counts website, which will be updated quarterly with the data that is tracking progress against the targets in Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success.

Invest in relationships

The ministry has active partnerships and relationships with 20 iwi. These relationships are focused on engaging effectively with iwi to enable them to support their whānau in ways that promote, enhance and advance Māori learner achievement. In addition, the ministry has a further four relationships with national Māori education organisations.

These relationships facilitate opportunities for iwi to be full participants in the education system alongside learners, parents, schools and the ministry. When all these parties work together much more can be achieved for and with Māori.

The ministry and its iwi partners are developing an Iwi Relationships Framework to guide the conduct of all relationships and engagement between iwi and the ministry. The draft framework recognises the unique role of iwi and sets out a pathway to establish and strengthen relationships focused on achieving increased outcomes for and with Māori. The framework is being trialled in 2008/09.

The relationships are generally managed jointly by the ministry's national office and regional staff. In many cases, the regional staff, as experts in their geographical area and connected to the education providers in their area, lead discussions with iwi and provide support and guidance for the range of projects and initiatives.

Each relationship is unique and its focus and activity is guided by the aspirations of the particular iwi group. Across the relationships, there is a wide variety of activity and priorities, but all are working with the ministry towards a common goal of "Māori enjoying education success as Māori" and tailored to the specific context of each iwi, such as Kāi Tahu (Ngāi Tahu) enjoying education success. There is no one way of working and there is no one set of outcomes and priorities – each relationship is determined and operated in a way that suits the particular iwi.

Two examples of relationships are discussed below. The priorities and activities discussed in these examples specifically reflect the aspirations and requirements of each of the iwi and are highlighted as examples of what a relationship could produce.

The Southern Region, led by staff in the regional office in Christchurch, is leading the ministry's relationship with Kāi Tahu (Ngāi Tahu). It is partnering with the 18 runaka (runanga) of the iwi and in 2008 has focused on three areas:

  • te reo – developing a stocktake of Māori language needs for education and available Māori language educators in the region. This stocktake will be supported by a planning hui with whānau and a small pilot upskilling te reo Māori teachers
  • achievement – monitoring Māori student achievement against agreed targets and piloting a mentoring project in some Christchurch schools
  • Kāi Tahutanga (Ngāi Tahutanga) – shaping what a Kāi Tahu curriculum and pedagogy for schools and centres would look like. One focus will be engagement projects looking at how centres and schools could integrate Kāi Tahutanga and te reo into practice.

Comprehensive analysis of student achievement and engagement has informed the discussions in the Southern Region, establishing an evidence base from which to develop shared priorities. One of the case studies in this chapter shows how the ministry and Kāi Tahu work together to look at the opportunities they can provide to realise Māori potential and the resources each brings to the process. A monitoring and evaluation framework is being developed that will provide good information about the change this way of working is delivering.

The relationship with Ngāi Tūhoe is another example. The relationship is based on trust and partnering for positive change to achieve long-term shared outcomes. The parties acknowledge their joint accountability to achieve agreed outcomes that are aligned with Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success and are focused on Māori learner success.

The outcomes include:

  • strengthening and building an effective relationship between the ministry and the Tūhoe Education Authority through a culture of partnership best practice that adds value and enhances success for Ngāi Tūhoe learners
  • strengthening and sustaining governance and management practices in education institutions in the Ngāi Tūhoe region, with a particular focus on schools
  • growing leaders for schools by strengthening and sustaining high-quality leadership practice within and across education institutions in the Ngāi Tūhoe region
  • effective teaching and learning that is focused on raising student achievement
  • driving up whānau and hapū engagement to support the education of their tamariki.

The ministry and Ngāi Tūhoe jointly monitor progress towards these outcomes.

In addition to the 20 iwi relationships, the ministry has agreements with four national Māori education organisations. These relationships often focus around the specific area of interest and expertise of the group.

The priorities and activities of these relationships are unique to the specific context of the part of the sector that the organisation is involved in. However, each of these relationships directly contributes to Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success through their aspiration for Māori enjoying education success as Māori. These organisations are often pan-tribal and tend to be focused around particular types of Māori-medium education provision in the system.

An overarching framework to guide the overall approach and outcomes of these relationships will be developed in 2009, and will be distinct from but sit alongside the Iwi Relationship Framework.

In May 2008, Ngāti Whakaue, supported by the ministry, opened a distinctively Ngāti Whakaue early childhood education centre called Te Ao Kapurangi – Moko Puna. The name honours a heroine from Ngāti Whakaue history.

The puna fully involves and supports whānau. It is different from most 'play groups' in that it has two staff who organise sessions and develop and run the learning programme, in addition to parents attending with their children. About half a dozen kuia and koroua (kaihapai) also assist at the puna, and they each contribute in different ways according to their skills and wishes – for example waiata, stories, child rearing skills and transport for the parents and children.

The puna is currently intended to operate as a playgroup for a three-year period to the end of 2010. The intention is to progress to a distinctively Ngāti Whakaue fully-licensed centre from 2011 onwards.

An important element of the project is longitudinal evalution and research into the impact on children and whānau of the puna and being nurtured within its distinctively Ngāti Whakaue environment. This evaluation and research is expected to start in 2009 and run until 2018, potentially enabling researchers to track the progress of children until they reach secondary school.

Better information and communication

The key to an effective organisation is ensuring that all staff have the knowledge, skills and resources to do their job. This includes supporting distribution and understanding of the range of evidence available to support informed decision-making, and more effective connections with key internal staff and external stakeholders.

Meeting increasing public and sector expectations of ease of access to information means the ministry has to enable agencies and the education sector to transmit and receive information effectively and efficiently. This can be achieved through technologies that are secure and compatible across organisations.

The following case study looks at what has been achieved in 2007/08 to make progress towards the Organisational Success goals of Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success.

Case study 8

Who is promoting and supporting māori achievement?

Above photo of Liz Brown (Kāi Tahu, Kāti Māmoe, Waitaha).

Ngā Haeata Mātauranga talks to Liz Brown (Kāi Tahu, Kāti Māmoe, and Waitaha) about the strong leadership she and colleagues have been demonstrating to whānau, iwi and government agencies for Māori education.

We discuss her current workload and responsibilities in a geographical area as big as Switzerland. Ngā Haeata Mātauranga also asks Liz how she is using Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success to establish and maintain important relationships with iwi and Māori education groups.

NHM: Tēnā koe Liz. Tell us about yourself, your whānau and your time at the ministry.

Nuku Mānia te mauka
Orakaiapakihi te awa
Te Waihora te hāpua
Kāi Tahu, Kāti Māmoe me Waitaha kā iwi
Kāi Te Ruahikihiki te hapū
Kāti Moki te marae
Taumutu te wāhi
Ko Liz Brown tōku ikoa.

I joined the ministry in August 2007 as the Māori Education Manager for the Southern Region, He Kaihautu Mātauraka o Te Wai Pounamu. I spent a year in that role before being seconded as the Acting Local Office Manager for the Nelson/Marlborough/West Coast Early Childhood and Regional Education Office. I've been here for nearly six weeks. My main focus right now is to get a greater understanding of the complexities of the position.

NHM: E hika. That's a sizeable office – Nelson/ Marlborough/West Coast.

Liz: Very much so. It goes from Haast on the West Coast, through Tasman, Nelson, and Marlborough, to Kaikōura on the East Coast. The distance is comparable to that of Auckland to Wellington, and the takiwā (area) is comparable to that of Switzerland.

NHM: What is your role and some of your responsibilities as Acting Local Office Manager?

Liz: I oversee early childhood education provision, learner support, schooling improvement and property for the Nelson/Marlborough/West Coast district.

Some of my tasks are day-to-day management – business plans, budgets, projects, checking contracts, etc. I'm also developing and implementing a strategy across my district, focusing on getting more children attending quality early childhood centres.

We're keen to increase awareness in the sector of the importance of improving Māori and Pasifika education results and qualifications.

I also support the ministry's relationship with Kāi Tahu (Ngāi Tahu) as three runaka are in my local area. I am also helping to progress the relationship between the ministry and the eight iwi within Te Tau Ihu.

NHM: What has been the role of the local office in supporting the ministry to deliver and apply Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success?

Liz: Since Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success was released to schools in May 2008, our local office staff have been able to use it to start conversations with people in the education community and ask things like "What does Māori enjoying education success as Māori look like to you?" and "What is your education setting's picture for Māori achievement?"

Initiatives such as the Innovations Fund have very specific links to Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success, so when ministry staff help clusters of schools to write up their applications to the Innovations Fund they can apply this to their work.

Hui for further discussions with principal groups are currently being planned with Raewin Tipene-Clarke who is currently acting in my old position (Manager, Māori Education Strategy – He Kaihautu Mātauraka o Te Wai Pounamu) and the Southern Regional Manager, Michael De'Ath. Our ministry analysts have recently been working on the latest data to show what shifts have occurred in the past year.

NHM: Why are you outside in the snow holding the Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success poster?

Liz: We were travelling south to meet with a couple of schools, boards of trustees, students and whānau to talk about Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success and how to build local capacity to respond to Māori learners' aspirations.

We had to take a photo of us holding the poster out in the snow because that day we had gone through a blizzard, crossed over a huge dam, and driven over mountain ranges to share the word with those more isolated communities.

NHM: How does Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success frame your role and the relationships and conversations you have with principals, boards of trustees, learners and whānau?

Liz: Every time we talk with principals and boards, we ask what their Māori achievement data show and what they are planning or doing in this area. With whānau, the conversation centres on their aspirations for their children, and then we talk about how we can help them achieve these aspirations.

We share with these groups what the data show regionally or in their district and talk about what the research and Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success means for them in their school.

NHM: What sort of data do you share with these groups?

Liz: It is usually NCEA results because we can get comparable data. We have also shared learner engagement and population data. In the next presentations we will be able to show literacy and numeracy results at NCEA Levels 1, 2 and 3.

However, when talking to the wider education community, we also need data at a primary-school level. Some Canterbury primary principals have been working with the University of Canterbury to try to gather consistent and comparable data from primary schools. Their pilot may become a useful model in future.

NHM: How do whānau respond to the data, and how are they using that to frame their conversations with the schools?

Liz: Whānau are not surprised by the data. There is often nothing new there; the data just reinforce what they have known intuitively for a long time. However, it does give them evidence as a starting point for their conversations: then they can ask what the data are like for their individual school.

NHM: How have the conversations with the sector and whānau contributed to ministry staff's confidence and capability to lift system performance for and with Māori?

Liz: The ministry has a major focus on this with the release of Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success. When looking at our understanding of the strategy, there are more opportunities to draw on conversations with whānau and the education community to support our discussions. Personal examples always help make things more real and specific. Lifting system performance for and with Māori is ongoing as this is a long-term approach. 

NHM: How is Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success shaping your relationship with iwi and other Māori education groups?

Liz: For some iwi it validates the strategic direction they have been taking in their interactions with the ministry. The shared work we have been doing for some time can be linked clearly to the outcomes of Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success learner outcomes. The strategy gives the work a framework and a context. For others, it gives them a position of strength to support the kōrero they wish to have. It is a medium for all of us to work closer together.

NHM: What is happening across the sector work in the Southern Region or at a local office level? Who is involved?

Liz: In Canterbury we have formed a strategic group, the Canterbury Education Forum. This group has representation from all education sector areas – early childhood education, primary, secondary and tertiary – and it includes iwi representatives, school boards of trustees, teacher education providers, Education Review Office, University of Canterbury, union representatives, private training organisations and the ministry.

The Forum gives us more cohesion across the education community and an opportunity to share information and to share our main focus areas. Māori achievement is at the forefront of all meetings and it's a way of generating joint ownership and shared responsibility for realising Māori potential.

NHM: What's next for you at the local office level as well as at regional level?

Liz: We're keen to implement the Māori responsivity framework Te Hikoitanga: Pathway to Success with all ministry staff, to increase our confidence and ability to effectively deliver for and with Māori learners.

Also we'll continue to have hui around the Southern Region to discuss Māori achievement trends, population and learner engagement data.

We'll implement the work plans we've developed with iwi. We'll work with whānau and iwi to meet their education aspirations and use evidence deliberately to focus investments on what works for and with Māori learners.

Basically for every piece of work we do, we'll look through the lens of "How does this promote or support Māori achievement"?

NHM: Tēnā koe Liz for your mahi and your whakaaro; kia toa, kia maia, kia kaha!

Support and resources

The ministry delivers a wide range of policies, programmes and services focused on improving communities' knowledge of, and participation in, the education system.

This includes:

  • working with parents, iwi and community groups to build relationships and foster greater participation in education
  • providing information to enable better-informed decision-making about education options
  • supporting and delivering programmes to provide education stakeholders in the community with the knowledge and skills required to support the education system
  • giving timely and relevant policy advice to the Minister of Education.

One example of this is Te Mana, which aims to increase the participation, engagement and achievement of Māori in education. This involves advertisements, presence at events and the Taiohi magazine and website. In the recent past, Te Mana has focused on communicating with young Māori about the benefits of being engaged in education. In 2006/08 this was through the 'Honour the Past' campaign, monitoring and evaluation of which showed that it was successful in reaching the Māori youth audience with the 'make the most out of school' message.

In 2008, a renewed focus on whānau was developed through two advertisements that began screening in October. This focus aimed to recognise the critical role of whānau in setting the context and purpose for learning, education and school for their children. The first ad 'Start learning' reinforces the importance of building a strong foundation for learning and early focus on the value of learning. The second ad encourages parents and teachers to engage in positive home–school relationships.

Providing information alone is not effective – ministry staff are required to be able to support the sector in taking the next steps in implementation of the strategy. Ministry people and teams who have been able to articulate and give practical effect to Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success and what it means for the ministry, schools, principals, boards of trustees, iwi, community and whānau are the best means of engaging groups. Where these conversations are focused on shared outcomes and collaboratively working to achieve them, the difference needed will be made.

5.3: Looking ahead

There are challenges and opportunities facing the ministry, following the first year of embedding the strategy. Ensuring consistency of understanding and approach across the ministry and the sector is critical to its successful implementation. This requires ongoing critical focus on the latest evidence of what works for and with Māori learners.

Over the next five years the ministry wants to see:

  • more and better use of evidence by staff to make decisions
  • more capable and confident people working in the ministry who are able to boost system performance for and with Māori
  • each individual and each business unit identifying how they are giving effect to Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success and monitoring and reporting on outcomes for Māori learners
  • staff who are better informed, interconnected within the ministry and across the sector
  • staff sharing information that is relevant to improving outcomes for and with Māori.

The Human Resources Strategy, due to be developed in late 2008, is critical for developing the confidence and capability of staff to lead sector change for and with Māori. It is a key action in Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success and, given the ministry's leadership role in the sector, will directly impact on Māori learner outcomes.

The ministry will continue to embed Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success, using the strategy to shape the priorities and activities of the ministry, and supporting the sector to use it in their work. This will involve a continued expectation that the other education agencies will highlight their key actions to support the strategy annually, and align their Māori education strategies and plans to Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success.

Business planning processes, guidelines, templates and training for the ministry will be refined each year to reflect the context and education environment in which the ministry is operating. The latest evidence and data showing the progress being made by the sector in achieving the targets in Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success will inform the ministry's planning and prioritisation process, and will ensure that resources are being directed where they will have the most impact.


  1. ERO National Reports Education Review Office (ERO) website.
  2. Education Counts website.
  3. Timperley et al (2007).
  4. Education Counts website.

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