Te Kahu Whakahaumaru – Ngā mahi a te rangai mātauranga Māori (English)

Published: 19 Jan 2021
Audience:
Early learning
Education
Māori-medium
Parents
Schools
Topics:
COVID-19
Early Childhood Education (ECE)
Schools
Māori-medium
Te Ihuwaka | Education Evaluation Centre
Te Pou Mataaho | Evaluation and Research Māori

Summary

We wanted to find out how Covid-19 and changing alert levels affected the Māori-medium education sector. We also wanted to know how the sector responded to the crisis.

Two of our teams worked together to gather evidence about this impact. This report presents the stories, lessons, challenges and innovations our teams found.

Read this report in te reo Māori.

This report belongs to a series

This report is part of a series, Learning in a Covid-19 World. The series focuses on how the education sector responded to the many challenges presented by Covid-19. Reports in the series share lessons learned over the course of the pandemic so far.

What we did

We spoke to learners, whānau, kaiako, kaimahi, leaders, hapū, and iwi representatives. We identified best practices and challenges the Māori‑medium education sector faced.

The sector successfully faced the challenge

We found that the Māori-medium education sector successfully joined forces with their communities. They responded quickly to the many challenges presented by Covid-19. They went above and beyond for learners, whānau, hapū and iwi.

Many learners’ experiences were enhanced

This experience enhanced many learners’ wellbeing and engagement in learning.

Leaders and kaiako worked closely with learners and their whānau. This included staying connected through high levels of whanaungatanga and manaakitanga.

Learner and whānau engagement improved

Leaders reported a rise in learner and whānau engagement through distance learning. This was despite a ‘digital divide’, and lack of other resources that learners would normally need.

What we found could influence the entire education sector

The many lessons learned in Māori-medium education could influence English-medium education. This influence could enhance Māori achieving educational success as Māori.

What we learned could optimise learner engagement and wellbeing across the sector. Our findings could serve as a guide in future responses to unprecedented events.

Whole article:

Te Kahu Whakahaumaru – Ngā mahi a te rangai mātauranga Māori (English)

Wāhinga kōrero - Foreword

 

Ko te tamaiti te pūtake o te kaupapa.

Quality education is the right of every child and young person
in Aotearoa and is underpinned by learning environments that place the learner and learner outcomes at the centre of all activity.
Successful learning organisations are those that are
on a continuous, deliberate and future-focused journey of improvement, using evidence to shape their direction and decision making.

Te Pou Mataaho, ERO’s evaluation and research group, and Te Uepū ā Motu, ERO’s national evaluation and review team, pursued this evaluation to provide an evidence base about the initial impacts of Covid-19 on Māori-medium education and how the sector responded.
The evaluation approach has been designed by Māori, with Māori, for Māori and in te reo Māori. It respectfully acknowledges and validates the underlying principles of the differing provisions of Māori-medium education for Te Rūnanga Nui o Ngā Kura Kaupapa Māori o Aotearoa, Ngā Kura ā Iwi o Aotearoa, Kōhanga Reo, Puna Reo and Whare Kōhungahunga, and operates in accordance with these. The above are referred to as peak bodies throughout this report. Information was gathered from learners, whānau, kaiako, kaimahi, leaders, hapū, and iwi representatives.
The Māori-medium sector has continued to show great success in providing for tamariki Māori and their whānau. The findings demonstrate how those within the sector successfully joined forces with their communities to respond quickly to the many challenges presented by Covid-19, and went above and beyond for learners, whānau, hapū and iwi.
This research found that many learners have come through this period of crisis with their wellbeing and engagement
in learning enhanced by the experience. Leaders and kaiako supported learners and their whānau by working with them and remaining connected to them through high levels of whanaungatanga and manaakitanga. Despite the inequities experienced due to a lack of resources and the ‘digital divide’, leaders reported a rise in learner and whānau engagement through distance learning.
This report has the potential to be far reaching and can influence the entire education sector. It can serve as a guide to optimising learner engagement and wellbeing in future responses to unprecedented events. Furthermore, the many lessons learnt in Māori-medium education
can potentially influence English-medium teaching and learning in the future to enhance Māori achieving educational success as Māori.

 

Whakarāpopototanga  - Executive Summary

This evaluation acknowledges the similarities from across Māori-medium education and highlights the value of learning that is grounded in te reo Māori, tikanga Māori, te ao Māori and mātauranga Māori. This research identified best practices and challenges faced by the Māori-medium education sector in response to the Covid-19 lockdown:

Te Ahi Kōpae:
Leadership

Whānau, hapū, iwi:
Māori-medium education communities

Ihonui:
the focus and depth of support for wellbeing

Te Pūāhuru:
professional support and guidance

Te Māpura:
learning and innovation opportunities

inequities that need to be addressed

 

Māori-medium education leadership practiced distributive, communal and collaborative engagement. Leaders saw their responsibilities as facilitating the collective actions of whānau, iwi, hapū, community and peak bodies to realise the aspirations and desires for equitable and excellent learner outcomes.
The Māori-medium community utilised tino rangatiratanga and mana motuhake through high levels of shared responsibility, communication and collaboration, facilitated by whānau, iwi, hapū, community and peak body leaders. This resulted in supportive learning environments and encouraged high levels of learner and whānau engagement.
Physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing of learners and staff, and whānau, iwi and hapū was of paramount importance to the Māori-medium education paradigm. This, coupled with a strong focus on staying connected to each other, ensured an effective response to the diverse needs of all learners and their whānau.
Peak body group members and leaders in Māori-medium education provided high quality support and timely information to their communities. This supported decision making that was in the best interests of kaiako, learners and their whānau. Peak bodies ensured there was provision of professional development to support kaiako in growing their digital capabilities and pedagogy to enhance learning for tamariki.
Learning and innovation was evident in Māori-medium education. Advances in the digital learning space created differentiated learning opportunities and innovations whilst staying true to the collective goal of promoting te reo, tikanga and mātauranga Māori. Leaders were creative in managing staff workloads, through modifying programmes and timetables, and promoting whānau participation in learning. Tamariki acquired greater skills to manage their own learning.
The digital divide was an issue. Leaders reported that it was more difficult to engage learners when they did not have access to an appropriate digital device and internet connection.
There were a number of learners whose whānau were disadvantaged due to being unable to communicate with their kura or service provider. The provision of hard pack resources for Māori- medium education was often not appropriate for learners and was not of the quality expected
to promote and enhance language, culture and identity. In addressing these challenges many leaders reported that they and kaiako used creative approaches to address the digital divide using other platforms and approaches to share, connect and communicate with learners and whānau.

He kupu whakataki - Introduction

No one could have anticipated what unfolded at the beginning of 2020. Covid-19 represents a substantial and alarming threat to health and livelihoods throughout Aotearoa and the world. The global pandemic resulted in a nationwide state of emergency. On 25 March 2020, New Zealand went into lockdown under Alert Level 4 with very little warning.
For the education sector, this meant all educational facilities were closed, which caused short- term disruption to students’ learning and wellbeing. With little to no indication of how long
it would be before the sector could return to normal, it was important for everyone to adjust quickly to the changes and do what was required to ensure student learning and wellbeing could continue as best as possible from home.
In response to the situation, ERO undertook a programme of work to understand the response of the Māori-medium sector during Alert Levels 1-4. Māori-medium education is the term used throughout this report to describe those settings that provide education reflecting te reo Māori, tikanga Māori, mātauranga Māori, and te ao Māori.

Purpose – Why did we undertake this evaluation?

This evaluation sought to better understand the impacts of Covid-19 across Māori-medium education. Te Pou Mataaho aimed to capture the stories, lessons, challenges and innovations as Māori-medium education providers navigated through the phases of Covid-19 from Alert Level 4 to Alert Level 1. The purpose was to ensure that the results of this evaluation would influence future decision making in Māori-medium education to further enhance outcomes for learners and their whānau.

Evaluation – How did we do this evaluation?

This work was undertaken with our sector partners in Māori-medium education. We committed to work with, for, as and by Māori, and in te reo Māori.
To maintain our purpose we focused on universal themes that reflect the uniqueness of the Māori-medium paradigm. These themes were selected as a part of the initial discussions with peak bodies, taking individual contexts into consideration.
Te Pou Mataaho and Te Uepū ā-Motu worked with their partners Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust, Te Rūnanga Nui o Ngā Kura Kaupapa Māori o Aotearoa and Ngā Kura ā Iwi o Aotearoa. Together it was decided to focus this research on compiling innovations, concerns, issues or matters of interest. It was agreed that stories would be captured and shared to guide future decision making and learning.

The evaluation approach included three phases to uphold the integrity of the te ao Māori influence. These phases are:

  1. Whanaungatanga
  2. Whakaaetanga
  3. Whakataunga

It was agreed that this research and its findings would contribute to the way ERO and the Māori- medium sector work together in the future. Particularly, considering the immediate, medium and long-term implications of the Covid-19 disruption for ākonga.
The initial evaluation, developed in collaboration with the aforementioned peak bodies, identified the following significant themes:

  • Te Ahi Kōpae: Leadership 
  • Whānau, hapū, iwi: Māori-medium education communities
  • Ihonui: Wellness
  • Te Pūāhuru: Professional Support
  • Te Māpura: Learning innovation

Methodology

Using these themes as a foundation, the research team conducted a series of comprehensive evaluations that covered four key sectors that were representative of 132 Māori learning communities in Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust, Ngā Kura ā Iwi o Aotearoa, Te Rūnanga Nui
o Ngā Kura Kaupapa Māori o Aotearoa
and Puna Reo or Whare Kōhungahunga.

The research included qualitative and quantitative data from surveys, meetings, interviews, document analysis and videoconferencing hui. These were conducted with leaders, kaiako, learners and their whānau. The structured interviews focused on individual contexts. In addition, the peak body groups had opportunities to provide feedback and recommendations for improvements as the process evolved.
Te Pou Mataaho and Te Uepū ā-Motu analysed responses for each of the four sectors and produced summary reports that captured their unique experiences in relation to the evaluation purpose.
This report acknowledges Te Rūnanga Nui o Ngā Kura Kaupapa Māori o Aotearoa, Ngā Kura ā Iwi o Aotearoa, Kōhanga Reo and Puna Reo or Whare Kōhungahunga for the strength of their
philosophical underpinnings and connections to the communities they serve. Despite each being unique in context and active participants in tino rangatiratanga (autonomy) and mana motuhake (independence), the data can be used collectively as representative of the impacts on and responses of the Māori-medium education sector in relation to Covid-19.

Evaluation – Our sample group

 
Māori medium Whanaungatanga Whakaaetanga Whakataunga
Puna Reo 30

Collaboration, discussions and support

Agreement

Leadership and whānau support Agreement
Kōhanga Reo 80

Collaboration, discussions and support
Agreement

Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust, district, whānau support

Agreement

Te Aho Matua Kura Kaupapa Māori
6

Collaboration, discussions and support
Agreement

Te Rūnanga Nui or Ngā Kura Kaupapa Māori o Aotearoa, kura, whānau, leadership support Agreement
Ngā Kura ā Iwi 8

Collaboration, discussions and support
Agreement

Ngā Kura ā Iwi, kura, whānau, leadership support

Agreement

Ngā Kitenga - Findings

Te Ahi Kōpae: Leadership

The research found that the power of collaboration, embodied in the whakataukī ‘Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi, he toa takitini kē, was essential for leadership. There is an unwavering acknowledgement by leaders in Māori-medium education that their success as leaders is reliant upon the strength and unity of the collective, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic.
During the Covid-19 lockdown, this model of leadership promoted active communication and engagement by key stakeholders, which ultimately contributed to success in a number of areas. Leadership focused on addressing anxieties and concerns, developing and explaining clear expectations, monitoring wellbeing, mitigating financial and staffing risks, establishing collaborative systems and providing procedures for health and safety plans.
The recurring theme that emerged from leaders’ responses is that they sought to collaborate with individuals, groups and organisations, which then informed and guided their decision making. Their methods included hosting numerous virtual meetings with key stakeholders; engaging the services of community, local and central government organisations; and enhancing working relationships with other leaders in the sector.
Ideals such as whanaungatanga (deeply intimate connections) and manaakitanga (unconditional care) were used to assess, monitor and respond to kura and services staff wellbeing. Leaders were acutely aware of their staff’s workloads, particularly during the lockdown period. This was evidently relevant to teachers, administrators and support staff.
Leaders worked collaboratively and creatively with staff to manage workloads, while maintaining engaging, culturally appropriate and educationally purposeful learning opportunities for learners. Common approaches across Māori-medium education included modifying programmes and timetables, promoting whānau participation in learning and seeking relevant and appropriate professional support and development for kaiako.

Whānau: Māori-medium education communities

‘Whānau’, in this context, refers to ‘the influence and strength of the centre.’ ‘Whānau’ is commonly understood simply as ‘family’, the deeper understanding of the term within Māori- medium education is whānau as based on shared experiences, shared aspirations, and shared responsibility. This notion encompasses the idea that a Māori-medium whānau consists of the staff within the kura or service, the local marae, iwi and hapū, and the families whose children were enrolled (raukura or graduates) or whose children are currently enrolled in the kura or service. This includes parents, siblings, aunties, uncles and kaumātua (grandparents).

During the Covid-19 lockdown, Māori communities exercised their tino rangatiratanga and mana motuhake. This is clearly expressed by one respondent who stated:

We do not wait for someone else to help us –

we do it ourselves, with what we have.

Many Māori-medium kura, kōhanga or puna provided a space where Māori whānau saw opportunities to practice the idea of ‘for Māori, by Māori, as Māori’.

A recurring theme articulated by many of the whānau interviewed was that the high level of collaboration and communication was key to adequately supporting those who were most vulnerable. This was vital in addressing anxieties and uncertainties among Māori-medium communities. Ministry of Education bulletin encouraged staff of kura and services to “just continue being a solid constant in the lives of whānau and tamariki.”

There were numerous accounts of whānau pooling resources for educational benefits, as well as to mitigate the growing social pressures many whānau were facing. Many Māori-medium education providers and the wider whānau were instrumental in providing clear  and up-to-date information to their respective communities, hosting wānanga to discuss tikanga and policy processes for online learning, self-funding the compilation of resource packs, establishing ways to maintain whanaungatanga and connection, putting together and distributing kai and hygiene packs, and maintaining a level of calmness and unity.

Whilst Covid-19 created a range of educational, social, health and wellbeing pressures, it was also observed that there was a heightened level of whānau engagement in children's learning.

Māori-medium education providers saw increased engagement by whānau in the learning process of their tamariki.

Whānau voice:

We found time to sit with our tamariki and learn together. 

Tamariki voice:

I asked for help from my Nana when I needed it but most of the time, I was able to work by myself. I had Zoom meetings and when I did classwork my teachers helped with anything I needed.

This is particularly noticeable around mātauranga Māori, te reo Māori and Māori beliefs. The higher levels of engagement with whānau at home enhanced the learning journey of young Māori.

Whānau voice:

We focused on what was most important – arā te manawa me te wairua o te mokopuna...mēnā kei te ora kare e kore ka tipu mātoro ā hinengaro ā tinana. Getting the basics right – focusing on our Kaupapa – te reo me ōna tikanga.

Ihonui: Wellbeing

Ihonui – wellbeing and wellness – in te ao Māori includes the physical element and actively integrates spiritual, cognitive and familial connections.

Many of the Māori-medium education leaders acknowledged that whilst their staff continued in their professional capacities, many of them also felt the pressures of the global pandemic and were simultaneously carrying responsibilities for their own whānau.

Wellbeing of staff:

Approaches such as modifications to teaching programmes and timetables helped kaiako better manage workload. This included class Zoom sessions, independent learning activities and one- on-one tutorials that educational leaders and staff implemented with the support of the wider Māori-medium whānau, including their peak bodies. This was done to manage the obvious increase in workload placed upon kaiako and to mitigate the potential of ‘teacher burnout’.

The following is an example of a leader’s concerns:

Kaiako have worked tirelessly without breaks throughout lockdown and the emotional toll was significant.

Many staff were asked, at extremely short notice, to plan and facilitate learning experiences that were foreign to many of them. Leaders, in collaboration with the various peak bodies, sought relevant and accessible support. For the most part this came in the form of professional development and training around the understanding, navigation and application within the digital technologies space.

Kaiako were not feeling they were adding enough value as they were below par to deliver digitally.

Although adapting to the use of technology presented some challenges, leaders acknowledged the rapid adaptation and innovation of most Māori-medium staff. They now feel they are much better prepared as a teaching cohort to provide quality and engaging learning opportunities if another lockdown occurs.

Wellbeing of Learners:

The wellbeing of learners was a priority across the Māori-medium sector with a clear focus on staying connected. This strengthened connections between learner and kaiako; learner and taiao; learner and reo; learner and tikanga; and ultimately, learner and mātauranga. With this understanding, educational leaders and kaiako explored multiple opportunities to keep learners connected.

Tamariki voice:

Our kaiako were awesome. They supported us in every way.

Access to digital devices and the internet remained a factor for Māori-medium education during lockdown and prompted creative approaches from leaders and kaiako to maintain regular contact with learners and whānau.

It is important to note that while a number of Ministry of Education ‘hard packs’ were assembled for learners across Aotearoa, these were not always appropriate for the learners’ needs and often didn’t align with the richness of culture and language that Māori-medium aspire to provide.

For those families challenged by their ability to communicate with kura or service providers, kaiako embraced different ways to keep in touch, using phone calls, texts and social media to bridge the digital divide. What was shown throughout the Māori-medium sector was an overwhelming resilience to these challenges, with Māori students continuing to thrive.

Key to that story of resilience and success is whānau deeply engaged in students’ learning and kaiako committed to staying connected and responding to the individual needs of each family.

Whānau voice:

We kept in touch, we had Facebook and felt like the whānau was everywhere at the right time.

Whānau voice:

We loved the TV learning opportunity for our kids.

Staying connected proved to be invaluable when New Zealand moved down Alert Levels. Learners were positive about returning to their respective educational providers and did not feel disconnected. Research found there was a general sense of relief and joy expressed by the learners upon return to their respective kura or service.

Wellbeing of Whānau:

Leaders clearly took on a lot of additional responsibility in the form of communication with whānau, as well as networking and collaborating with various community and government services that could provide support to whānau.

Whānau voice:

We are and will be well prepared if lockdown is to happen again with a better understanding.

Whānau benefitted from Māori-medium leaders working to collaborate, communicate and coordinate with entities such as KidsCan, Breakfast Club, Fruit in Schools, Whānau Ora, Ministry of Health and other localised community initiatives. Furthermore, they also worked closely with local marae, hapū and iwi to ensure the most vulnerable whānau had access to support.

In the short term, the focus was on some of the basic needs such as food, hygiene supplies, blankets and warm clothing. This provided a strong sense of whanaungatanga.

Leader voice:

The contributions of these initiatives and that of whānau, hapū and iwi to these packs was invaluable.

Te Pūāhuru: Professional Support

Te Pūāhuru is the idea of ‘new concepts that reinforces or builds on and enhances one’s understanding and promotes a feeling of warmth, confidence and satisfaction. The support whether it is personal or professional should’ evoke a ‘fire in your belly’ and the need to know more.’

The peak bodies provided guidance and advocacy for the various Māori-medium providers. This was critical in ensuring that kura, services and leaders were well informed and supported. These actions helped reduce the workload of the leaders in that space, which allowed them to focus on supporting uri, kaiako, whānau and their communities.

Whānau voice:

We are ready to go. Our whānau are ready. Big ups to [governing body] they sent through all the guidance. 

Those within Māori-medium education expressed appreciation to their leaders for the creation of national guidelines and sharing best practices in response to Covid-19. They also acknowledged support from the Ministry of Education and Māori Advisors as critical to enabling the peak bodies, leaders and Māori-medium to provide information and support to their communities.

Leader voice:

Those Covid-19 updates were my guiding light. I was able to get a good sense of where to take the kura. The updates were clear and direct. 

Māori-medium education providers quickly realised they had several vulnerabilities in relation to distance or remote learning. Not all staff were confident in the use, navigation, and application of various digital technologies and platforms. The peak bodies and leaders sought opportunities for staff to build or enhance their understanding of the capabilities and applications of digital technologies and platforms. This was done in collaboration with teachers to ensure the professional development was both fit for purpose and catered directly to the practical and immediate needs of its users.

This included broadening the application of existing platforms used by various Māori-medium education providers, such as Google Classroom, Microsoft Teams, Class Dojo, SeeSaw and Zoom. PLD (professional learning and development) for existing platforms was often facilitated internally by more confident and competent staff members. It also included working with PLD providers such as Core Education, Evaluation Associates, PB4L and MindLab. PLD was also provided for wellbeing programmes, giving staff more opportunities to integrate wellbeing into their distance learning programme.

Māori-medium education staff invested large amounts of time and energy into developing themselves as distance learning practitioners under tight time frames. There was a good level of innovation and creativity happening across the various sectors in a collaborative manner.

Kaiako explored the opportunities that digital technology could provide for the advancement of revitalising te reo Māori. There was a sense of a newfound ‘fire in the belly’ with a workforce that looked to launch Māori-medium education into the future.

Te Māpura: Learning and Innovation

Te Māpura is described as ‘small sparks that often come out of nowhere from the heart of the fire, but create a chain reaction, much like how one idea can create a chain reaction of innovation and creativity.’

Learning and innovation in relation to the use and application of digital technology was essential and Māori-medium providers had little choice but to be innovative. Providers recognised the energy and effort that was invested leading up to, during and even post the major lockdown period.

As a result of the integration of more digital learning platforms and experiences, there was a noticeable increase in engagement by both whānau and learners not affected by the digital divide. Many whānau members became active learners with their tamariki, especially those that didn’t speak te reo Māori. They found that they could revisit recorded lessons and access activities and online learning platforms from the safety of their own home.

 

Leader voice:

This is a positive for whānau engagement because non-Māori speaking whānau recorded themselves speaking Māori with their tamariki and posted videos on Facebook. 

Familiarity with the digital technologies increased opportunities for whānau engagement. The lockdown and distance learning experience proved to be a catalyst which sparked a new and innovative way of thinking about engagement.

Tamariki voice:

I loved being on Facebook for karakia.

The increased levels of learner engagement with the integration of more digital technologies was clear across the Māori-medium sector. There were a number of factors that contributed to this, including: the younger generation having greater familiarity with digital learning; a greater variety of tools and strategies available for learners; and teachers becoming more creative with their lessons and activities. There might also be a link between the increased engagement of whānau in their children's learning and the increased engagement of the children themselves.

Tamariki voice:

I was able to plan my own learning programme and my kaiako supported me to be adventurous.

With the recognition of this increased level of engagement, many Māori-medium providers have sought to continue with the digital style learning platforms and resources post-lockdown.

There are numerous ways in which these practices have continued, such as recording karakia and waiata and posting on online platforms, sharing children's learning live through social media channels, and disseminating tutorials and activities through online platforms. There has also been an increase in the use of communicative tools such as Zoom to allow more whānau to engage in whānau hui.

 

Ngā Kitenga me ngā Āheinga Anamata - Insights & Future Opportunities

Ngā Āheinga Anamata

ERO’s findings show Māori-medium learners were more engaged and more likely to experience wellbeing and continuity of learning when certain systems, practices and conditions were evident prior to, and during Covid-19 Alert Levels 1-4. These included:

  • learners being at the centre of decision making; learners building resilience, showing adaptability and developing self-led learning skills
  • whanaungatanga, shared responsibility and decision making driven by effective collaborative leadership and strong communities and communication practices
  • learner access to meaningful and differentiated learning experiences and resources that develop their linguistic and cultural capabilities and their skills to participate in te ao Māori and achieve education success as Māori
  • the evolving digital curriculums in Māori-medium education, and kaiako capability to use technology effectively as a teaching and learning tool
  • kaiako and whānau having access to hard copy learning materials, digital technology, adequate devices and reliable internet connections.

Māori communities kept connected and upheld tikanga practices. Kaiako across the motu shared teaching and learning resources, and whānau supported authentic and exciting home-life learning experiences.

The opportunity going forward is for ERO and its partners – Te Kōhanga Reo, Te Rūnanga Nui o Ngā Kura Kaupapa Māori o Aotearoa and Ngā Kura ā Iwi o Aotearoa – to use the insights from this evaluation to assist kura and services to be better prepared to deliver distance learning

in uncertain times. The creation of more resources and improved access to technology in Māori-medium education is critical. The findings highlight the opportunity to harness and

share – across both Māori-medium and English-medium education – the effective teaching and learning practices already occurring in te ao Māori, and enhancing Māori achieving educational success as Māori.

Kupu whakakapi - Conclusion

Covid-19 created a multitude of challenges for those in Māori-medium education and the long- term impacts of this global pandemic are not yet fully understood. What is clear and worthy of recognition is the way in which those in Māori-medium education responded to such challenges and led by example for the wider education sector.

Leaders demonstrated unwavering levels of care and support to learners, their staff and whānau, hapū and iwi, which engendered high levels of learner and whānau engagement in distance learning.

The Māori-medium sector worked effectively to ensure learners and whānau were well connected and supported, not only in their learning, but also in ensuring whānau wellbeing. Educators worked to find solutions in difficult circumstances. Their work was supported through the leadership of the peak bodies and by collaboration among educators, whānau, hapū and iwi and other service providers. A positive shift was the enhanced engagement of whānau learning alongside tamariki, through te reo, tikanga and mātauranga Māori.

The Māori-medium education paradigm is integral to providing authentic spaces for young learners, their whānau, hapū and iwi to interact; to feel innately and intrinsically connected; to have their holistic wellbeing acknowledged and cared for; to develop their linguistic and cultural capabilities and ultimately to be engaged, creative, and excited learners who can stand confidently and as Māori in this ever-changing world.

Ko te huarahi Māori kia mau, ko te huarahi Māori kia ita, ko te huarahi Māori kia puta ki te whei ao, ki te ao mārama.