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He Kākano wānanga: A practical example of school leaders learning through Māori ways of doing and thinking.

He Kākano is a strategic school-based professional development programme with an explicit focus on improving culturally responsive leadership and teacher practices to ensure Māori learners enjoy educational success as Māori. 

The He Kākano programme involves attending five wānanga with follow up co-construction meeting with the Manutaki (regional coordinator), as well as in school activities.

There are usually set topics to cover in the initial discussions with the Manutaki after the first wānanga, and it is unlikely that all schools are going to be in a position to gather the data and evidence required by the time of the first post wānanga visit, to be able to form the first series of goals.

School leaders and Ngā Manutaki agree on the focus of changes being planned for the school, between the first and second wānanga. The focus may be any one of a number of options available, depending on where the school wants to focus. It may also be the outcome of early discussions and planning that has already taken place.

Schools are made aware of a number of different ‘SMART’ tools available for them to use. For example, the student (Māori and non Māori) surveys and the teacher survey can be accessed via a hard copy/copies supplied by the Manutaki, or through the LimeSurvey tool. Ngā Manutaki and the He Kākano staff can assist the schools to analyse the data or the survey results can be directed to the He Kākano office to analyse. 

For the full He Kākano leadership process please view the pdf attached.

School leaders are asked to do some of their learning in a bicultural context driven by tikanga Māori – that is through Māori ways of doing and thinking. The structure and progression of the wānanga show a clear example of this in practice.

He Kākano wānanga

The aim of the He Kākano wānanga is to bring leadership teams together in a consciously bi-cultural space. The intention of the He Kākano team is to familiarise school leaders with the most central of Māori contexts, asking leaders to consider themselves first and foremost as cultural beings, whose cultural experiences provide the basis for the way they think and act as leaders.

Wānanga 1 - ‘Au’

Marae experiences, build on the concept of ‘au’ (that is, ‘I/me/my self).

The first wānanga have been developed around the ‘au’ – leaders are asked to position themselves and their leadership competencies along a continuum that leads to a description of highly effective leadership characteristics which have been proven (much of the latest learning coming from the current Te Kotahitanga research) to increase learning achievements for Māori students.

Wānanga 2 - Placing ‘Au’ in ‘Whānau’

The use of the word whānau in the He Kākano model, with ‘au’ at the core, refers to the ‘in-school’ relations, and relationships that school leaders have with their teaching and non-teaching staff and their student communities.

Leaders are asked to examine their roles and places within their in-school communities, examining their relational understandings of themselves by asking:

  • What do you know about the Māori students in your school?
  • How does your knowledge impact on how you see yourself and your role as a leader?
  • What impact does your knowledge have on your leadership roles and responsibilities in relation to your school’s people and policies- including the Secondary Principals’ Standards, the NEGs and NAGs, Ka Hikitia, the New Zealand Curriculum Framework, and the School Charter?

Wānanga 3 - Placing ‘Whanau’ within ‘Whanaunga’

The next level of relationships leaders need to engage in is reflected in the word ‘whanaunga’. The school leaders are asked to consciously place themselves within the ever-increasing network of relationships that extend beyond the borders of the school.

These wānanga connect leaders to the broader social, cultural, and political contexts in which their school whānau and whanaunga operate. It includes those communities inextricably connected to the school, but who live outside the in-school communities. They include parents, grandparents, relations, and caregivers.

Wānanga 4 - Placing ‘Whanaunga’ within Whanaungatanga

Building on their engagement with whanaunga, the wānanga continue to develop the school leaders’ relational understandings, in order to strengthen their engagement with wider communities of interest, including local and broader educational, social, cultural, and political interests. The focus in this wānanga is working together to enhance the cultural competence and cultural literacies of whānau and whanaunga.

Wānanga 5 – Placing ‘Whanaungatanga’ within ‘Whakawhanaungatanga’

The strengthened relationships developed through the different wānanga and co-construction hui all serve to build towards the ultimate goal of Whakawhanaungatanga – the active engagement and connection of all the preceding components, where the four Māori student outcomes identified in Ka Hikitia, as described above, can be realised.

In this wānanga, principals look at their agentic role across all the different communities of interest, to enable Māori students to take up their roles as citizens of the world, as Māori.

From 'Mana' to 'Manaakitanga'

The above model also links leaders with a core Māori value and concept – that of ‘mana’ - and its different manifestations in the range of relationships that are developed in the wānanga. ‘Mana’ used in this sense refers not just to the authority and prestige implicit in a leadership role, but to the way leaders treat those with whom they have a relationship.

As a concept applied to leaders, the goal of leadership is to enhance the mana of those in their care. Acknowledging the individuals in their care implies that leaders are also acknowledging the whānau that they come from – and in the case of Māori students, the hapū and iwi from which those individuals come. In so doing, leaders enhance their own mana.

In the broader communities, mana is shared, distributed, and acknowledged, so that the principle of manaaki – generosity, caring, and sharing – becomes embedded in the way that leaders and their schools interact within and without their communities of interest. In a school where manaakitanga is a key value, leaders and teachers care for their students as culturally located human beings above all else.

He Kakano_leadership_dev_process (895 KB)

Filed under: identity language and culture | effective leaders

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