He Whakaaro: The importance of identity, language and culture for ākonga Māori

Publication Details

This paper summarizes the findings of recent research completed by researchers at Kōtātā Insight using the Te Kupenga survey of Māori wellbeing. The research creates a new measure of Māori identity, language and culture, and links Te Kupenga respondents to ākonga Māori living in the same household. Researchers use this linkage for two applications: exploring the relationship between the identity, language and culture in the households of ākonga and their educational attainment; and estimating the impact that Māori medium education has on ākonga outcomes.

This paper is a summary of research undertaken by Smith, Beltran-Castillon and Tibble. You can read the full report describing this research here: Ngā Tamariki O Te Kupenga.

Author(s): Mercy Mhuru, Evidence, Data and Knowledge, Ministry of Education.

Date Published: March 2020

Key Findings

The report finds that:

  • There is notable diversity within ākonga Māori in terms of exposure to household identity, language and culture.Connection with identity, language and culture appears to have large effects on
    NCEA outcomes for ākonga Māori.
  • Māori medium education works: ākonga attending Māori medium secondary schools have much higher attainment than their peers in English medium schools.
  • Māori medium effect appears to be explained by factors relating to kaiako Māori - ākonga Māori in schools that do not offer Māori medium education but that have large concentrations of kaiako Māori achieve NCEA at similar rates to ākonga in schools offering Māori medium.
  • Ākonga from households that most strongly emphasise the aspects of identity, language and culture measured here have the highest reported whānau wellbeing, and higher NCEA attainment rates than similar ākonga from households with different identity, language and culture profiles.

Contact Us

Education Data Requests
If you have any questions about education data then please contact us at:
Email:      Requests EDK
Phone:    +64 4 463 8065