5. Organisational Success

Why this is a focus area

The Ministry of Education, ERO and education sector agencies must lead, coordinate and support the implementation of Ka Hikitia-Accelerating Success in order to improve education system performance for Maori students. A collaborative and coordinated approach is necessary for this change to be effective. 

Key actions for improvement have been set out by Ka Hikitia for each sector of the education system.  This report will describe how these actions have been implemented.

Where we want to go: Ka Hikitia Goals and Actions


  1. The Ministry of Education provides strong leadership to all relevant government agencies and the education sector that supports Māori educational success.
  2. Ka Hikitia-Accelerating Success 2013-2017 and evidence of what works for and with Māori students are embedded into all education sector agencies' planning and accountability processes.
  3. The Ministry of Education sector agencies take steps to increase their capacity and capability to lift the performance of the education system for Māori students.

Key Actions

  1. Continue to build the Ministry of Education, ERO and education sector agencies' capability and commitment to lifting the performance of the education system for Māori students, including implementing:
    • Whakapūmautia, Papakōwhaitia, Tau ana: Grasp, Embrace and Realise-A model of excellent education relationships between iwi and the Ministry of Education.
    • Tau Mai Te Reo- The Māori Language in Education Strategy 2013-2017.
    • Tātai Pou – competency framework.
    • Ka Hikitia Measurable Gains Framework
  2. Develop shared implementation plans to deliver on the goals and actions of Ka Hikitia – Accelerating Success 2013-2017, supported by building capability across the Ministry of Education, ERO and education sector agencies, and improving monitoring, evaluation and measuring of progress.


Ka Hikitia-Accelerating Success, outlines key actions in each focus area across the education sector.  How these actions have been implemented is indicative of how effectively Ka Hikitia is being put into practice across the sector and is reported below.

Organisational Success - Māori Language in Education


Tau Mai Te Reo – The Māori Language in Education Strategy 2013-2017 helps to coordinate activities across the Ministry of Education and the other education sector agencies. The agencies agreed to a connected and cohesive approach to implementation of the Strategy. The Tau Mai Te Reo Implementation Plan 2013/14 (Year One) report analysed progress achieved by the agencies across 51 initiatives (programmes, projects or activities). The Tau Mai Te Reo Implementation Plan 2014/15 (Year Two) report analyses progress achieved by the agencies across 69 initiatives. The Year Two report shows that 83% of the initiatives were successfully completed and a further 13% were substantially progressed.

Tau Mai Te Reo informs and supports the Māori language in education related elements within Ka Hikitia – Accelerating Success.  It sets the strategic direction for the Ministry of Education and education sector agencies and provides a framework for better government investment in Māori language in education from 2013 to 2017. Tau Mai Te Reo focuses on opportunities to strengthen existing investment in Māori language in education and provides for a staged approach to ensure that Māori language in education activity by the Ministry is deliberate and comprehensive.  The focus areas of Tau Mai Te Reo are:

  • Work with and for iwi, communities and Māori language providers to strengthen Māori language in education.
  • Strengthen and grow the Māori medium sector and networks.
  • Support Māori language in the English medium sector.
  • Build the evidence base for Māori language and mātauranga Māori.
  • Increase accountability for Māori language in education.

These focus areas are incorporated into the key actions for each section of Ka Hikitia, and reported against within those sections below.

Organisational Success - Early Childhood Education

Te Whāriki is the curriculum for all licensed early childhood education (ECE) services, kōhanga reo and playgroups. It is a bicultural document written in both English and te reo Māori for services in each medium. The guiding principles of Ka Hikitia – Accelerating Success align with the four principles of Te Whāriki: empowerment, holistic development, family and community, and relationships.

Te Whāriki emphasises the learning partnership between kaiako (educators) and parents, families and whānau. Kaiako weave a holistic curriculum in response to children's learning and development in the early childhood setting and the wider context of the child's world.

Ka Hikitia: Key Actions

  1. Increase the supply and quality of early childhood education and early learning
  • The Targeted Assistance for Participation (TAP) fund supports increasing participation in early learning by providing start-up funding and incentives to create new child places in communities where they are most needed (e.g. a property extension). TAP funding works on innovative ways to lift the participation of children from communities that have been less likely to participate in early learning. Over the past five years a total of $78.5 million has been invested through 211 TAP grants. These grants have created almost 8,000 new child places in areas with the highest need for new child places.
  • Strengthening Early Learning Opportunities (SELO) is a professional development programme for early learning. It is targeted at ECE providers and kōhanga reo that have low participation rates or need support in providing quality early learning. There are three different programmes available. Each programme will be shaped to the needs of individual services.
  • The Education Review Office (ERO) reports to parents, managers of early learning services, and the Government on the education and care of children in early childhood services. ERO reviews services according to how well placed a service is to promote positive learning outcomes for children.
  1. Remove barriers to access and promote the benefits of participation in quality early childhood education
  • The Ministry's Early Learning Taskforce works to attract, locate and engage the families of vulnerable children and tailors solutions so that these children enjoy the benefits of ongoing, quality early learning. The concept of "local intelligence, plus local people, equals solutions" reflects the need to ensure sustainability by building around community strength. 
  • Alongside community partnerships the Taskforce collaborates with early learning providers, iwi, Māori organisations, Pasifika churches and organisations, as well as other Government agencies. Two examples of Taskforce initiatives are:
    • Working with Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust to support them to enrol more children into kōhanga reo. The Taskforce is supporting Purapura in Tai Tokerau and South Auckland to implement action plans to increase participation.
    • Implementing Puna Kāinga, a new initiative focusing on 4 year olds that have not previously participated in early learning. Puna Kāinga delivers an accelerated programme, tailored to provide meaningful learning experiences that allow the children to develop some school readiness (including a focus on transition to school).
  • The Ministry's Participation Programme is designed to raise participation in early learning by targeting specific local areas where participation is low. This Programme is made up of various initiatives that aim to support Māori, Pasifika, and low-income families to enrol their children in early learning. It aims to reduce and remove barriers to participation that these families and whānau face. At 31 December 2015, just over 14,400 children from those target populations had been enrolled in early learning. Two examples of initiatives are:
    • The Engaging Priority Families (EPF) programme engages with the whānau and families of Māori and Pasifika children and low-income whānau and families to improve participation in early learning. The Ministry currently contracts 20 providers for the EPF programme. These providers support almost 1,000 children from priority families at any given time.
    • Supported Playgroups provide an early childhood option for communities that have large numbers of non-participating children. It is often attractive to parents of younger children who want to remain with their child. The Ministry currently contracts nine Supported Playgroups in targeted areas.
  1. Ensure parents and whānau have good support and information in their role as first teachers
  • The Better Information for Parents project promotes the value and benefits of early learning for hard to reach whānau of children not yet participating in early learning. This includes, encouraging whānau to be involved in early learning and to enrol their children in an early learning service. Examples of work undertaken as part of the Better Information for Parents project information projects include:  
    • development of two brochures -  Early learning a great start and Be involved get enrolled. These are currently being translated into te reo Māori and 5 Pasifika languages
    • a bus shelter campaign promoting early learning
    • providing a Choices booklet containing information about early learning and early learning services to first time parents
    • distribution of a set of 100 te reo Māori books to every kōhanga reo
    • a radio campaign across Māori and Pasifika networks with early learning messages.
  • Poipoia te Mokopuna provides support for whānau with Māori children under three years old to make early learning a priority and develop a readiness to enrol their child into an early learning service.
  • The Incredible Years programme is targeted to parents of children aged 3–8 years to build positive relationships with their children.

Organisational Success - Primary and Secondary Education


Ka Hikitia: Accelerating Success is the strategy used in primary and secondary education. It is embedded into the planning and accountability processes of Boards of Trustees, who are govern state and state-integrated schools.

There is a high level of collaboration across the educational sector in supporting and implementing Ka Hikitia-Accelerating Success in primary and secondary schools.

Key Actions

  1. Continue to enhance the quality of school leadership and teaching and raise the professional status of teaching.
  2. The Government has introduced several new initiatives focused on lifting the quality of teaching and leadership in the schooling system;

  • Since 2013 The Ministry of Education, in conjunction with the Education Council, tertiary education providers and the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC),  has been implementing a plan to explore good practice in Initial Teacher Education (ITE). This will  continue for the next two years in order to influence the supply and quality of ITE provision.
    • Exemplary Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programmes at the post-graduate level are underway in English medium for primary and secondary levels and for ECE qualifications. Programmes in Māori medium will commence in the second semester of 2016. Evaluation of these programmes will inform future advice about quality improvements for ITE.
    • Teach First NZ is a two year, field-based post-graduate ITE programme operating in low decile schools with high Māori and Pasifika rolls. To date, two cohorts have graduated from the programme.
  • Ongoing teacher and leadership professional learning and development. The Minister of Education has announced a new approach to centrally funded Professional Learning and Development (PLD).The changes will:
    • frame investment in PLD within a focused number of national priorities. From 2017, the national priorities for teacher professional development will be mathematics/pāngarau, science/pūtaiao, te reo matatini (pānui, tuhituhi, kōrero), /reading and writing and digital fluency. These national priorities will be in place for the next 3-5 years.
    • grow leadership capability across the system
    • mobilise quality assured internal and external expertise
    • strengthen profession-led support for curriculum, teaching and learning
  • A new professional body for teachers
    • The Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand is the new professional organization for teachers. It will champion good teaching practice, set high standards, and strengthen the regulatory framework and disciplinary regime for teaching.  In this way, the Education Council will help to raise the status of the teaching profession, and help to bring about improvements in teaching practice and educational leadership. 
  1. Develop new and expand current teaching and learning approaches that are engaging, effective and enjoyable for all Māori students.

    The Ministry aims to embed culturally responsive and relational pedagogy that connects with Māori and Pasifika learners' interests and knowledge including their identities, language, and culture into a more student-centred education system.
  • Building on Success is a key initiative with a focus on accelerating achievement for Māori learners to generate greater equity and more urgently realise the goal of Māori students enjoying and achieving education success as Māori.
    • Building on Success delivers a tailored approach to meet the identified strengths and needs of the individual school and their Māori students, whānau, hapū and iwi. This approach is informed by individual school, teacher and student self-review data.
    • Building on Success is being implemented in 103 schools with approximately 22,500 Māori learners and 8,300 teachers who are directly or indirectly involved.
    • Evaluation data showing progress against indicators such as attendance and retention, and provisional 2015 NCEA attainment data, is expected in March 2016. 
  • ARONA  is actively working towards engaging Māori and Pasifika students in education. It is specifically focused on individuals who are at risk of not achieving in education. ARONA will help to identify every Māori and Pasifika learner born in 1999 who will be on their way to achieving NCEA Level 2 at age 18, in 2017. This will enable the Ministry to see which students may need extra support to achieve this goal. Once it is known which students need extra support the Ministry will look at the students' individual needs and make sure that the correct support gets to them directly and that they remain engaged in education.
  1. Strengthen capability and accountability for Māori education and language outcomes across all stakeholders.

    The Ministry continues to work towards its goals of improving education outcomes for Māori and Pasifika learners so they can gain the skills and qualifications necessary to succeed in life. For this to be accomplished, a multi-pronged approach is required to change the system, build capability and accelerate achievement. Initiatives and activities that are currently being undertaken to achieve this goal include: 
  • Strengthening engagement with parents, whānau and families, iwi, and communities through initiatives such as NCEA and the Whānau, Whānau Education Action Plans with iwi, and targeted information dissemination to parents and families.
  • Improving access to quality data and information to support monitoring, reporting and continuous improvement across the education system. One example of this is Public Achievement Information. This is a collection of infographics available on the education counts website that summarise a wide range of education topics. The goal of these is to help provide the public with a clearer understanding of New Zealand's education system.
  1. Support all stakeholders to have high expectations for all Māori students and to develop and use a range of networks to share and grow knowledge and evidence of what works to support excellent education and Māori language outcomes.
  • Iwi education profiles show educational participation and engagement for more than 60 iwi education partners from around New Zealand. The profiles offer an iwi-by-iwi breakdown of how the education system is performing for Māori students affiliated with the iwi partner and also for Māori students within iwi partner rohe. Quality information provides a practical basis for iwi, communities and whānau to work with schools and kura so that all young New Zealanders reach their full potential.
  • Investing in Educational Success (IES) and the formation of Communities of Learning (CoL) is the Government's single biggest investment to lift achievement for all learners in the system over recent times. Across the 96 CoL that have been established, the 789 participating schools have a combined roll of over 250,000 learners, including almost 65,000 Māori and learners and almost 21,000 Pasifika learners.
  1. Develop and support clear pathways that lead to excellent education and Māori language outcomes

    The Ministry has been focused on strengthening the Māori medium pipeline (in which there is a high outflow of learners at key transition points) and improving the quality of provision. The immediate focus is on encouraging participation in IES including the formation of CoL and improving supply side factors. 
  • The Youth Guarantee, led by the Ministry and the Tertiary Education Commission, is a major initiative to ensure all 16-19-year-olds have the opportunity to achieve at least an NCEA Level 2 qualification or equivalent, enabling progression into higher levels of study, training or employment. The Youth Guarantee aims to increase student achievement, student retention and the progression of young people into further study, training or employment by providing a wider range of learning opportunities, making better use of the education network, and creating clear pathways from school to work and study for learners. There are a range of initiatives within the Youth Guarantee, including the Vocational Pathways, fees-free places at tertiary providers, and trades academies.
    • Vocational Pathways allow learners to see the connection between what they are studying at NCEA Level 2 to 3 future study and employment options. The pathways cover six broad industry sectors (manufacturing and technology, construction and infrastructure, creative industries, primary industries, social and community services, and services industries). The Level 3 Vocational Pathways awards are being implemented in 2016. Of the 7,601 Māori students who achieved NCEA Level 2 or equivalent in 2014, 992 or 13.1% did so with a Vocational Pathways Award.
  • Trades academies allow young people to remain enrolled at school, while participating in various forms of education delivered by tertiary education organisations. Twenty-three trades academies are operating in 2016, with 6,190 allocated student places across New Zealand (an increase of 940 places from 2015). In 2015, approximately 2,000 Māori participated in trades academies, Maori participation in trades academies is expected to be around 43% in 2016 as a result of more direct targeting of those programmes with a greater ability to target Māori and Pasifika students (at least 2,650 of 6,190 places). In 2014, 77.1 of Māori who exited a trades academy achieved NCEA Level 2. This rate was 86.7% for Māori who completed a trades academy programme.
  • Fees-Free places provide 16-19 year olds with an opportunity to study towards NCEA Level 2 aligned with the Vocational Pathways, or equivalent, at tertiary providers free of charge. A range of polytechnics, wānanga and private training establishments offer Fees Free. There are around 9450 EFTS (Equivalent Full Time Student) fees places in the tertiary education system. Māori make up a third of participants in fees-free places.
  • A.R.T: Achievement. Retention. Transitions initiatives involve working in partnership with secondary schools and tertiary providers to identify young people at risk of not achieving NCEA Level 2, with a particular focus on Maori and Pasifika students. ART targets the top 150 schools and 85 tertiary providers based on numbers of Māori and Pasifika learners and historic performance with these learners, although participation is not limited to this number (in 2015, 43 schools from outside of the top 150 were also engaged). The ART 150 schools and the additional 43 schools accounted for 5,345 Māori and Pasifika student leavers who left school without achieving NCEA Level 2 in 2014. This was out of a total of 6,151 Māori and Pasifika leavers without NCEA Level 2.
  • Count Me In works with Maori and Pasifika 16-18 year olds that are outside the education system to re-engage in learning (mostly tertiary pathways) and attain NCEA Level 2 qualifications.  This project involves government agencies, iwi and communities working together to evaluate a young person's educational position and goals in order to establish the options available to them to become qualified for the career or job they want.

Organisational Success - Tertiary Education


The goals for tertiary education in Ka Hikitia – Accelerating Success 2013-2017 are reflected in the priorities in the Government's Tertiary Education Strategy 2014-2019 (TES). The TES also supports the Tau Mai Te Reo  and He Kai Kei Aku Ringa: the Crown-Māori Economic Growth Partnership strategies. The TES can be found at: http://www.education.govt.nz/further-education/policies-and-strategies/tertiary-education-strategy/

The TES sets high expectations for tertiary education providers' performance and for attaining better outcomes for skills for industry, Māori and Pasifika learners, at-risk young people and for adult literacy and numeracy.

Key Actions

  1.  Expanding trades training:
  • Industry training is government-subsidised workplace training that leads to qualifications on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework. It is driven by the needs of industry: industries design the qualifications being pursued, trainees and apprentices must be employed in the area they are being trained in, and their employers agree to support the learning process. Reforms that took effect in 2014 included higher funding rates and the introduction of New Zealand Apprenticeships, which must lead to a Level 4 qualification of at least 120 credits.
  • The Maori and Pasifika Trades Training (MPTT) initiative aims to increase Māori and Pasifika participation and achievement in trades training. It contributes to the skills strand of the Government's Business Growth Agenda which aims to lift the participation of young Māori and Pasifika into meaningful employment.  To help grow the scheme and meet a wider range of learner and employer needs, the Government has widened the age range for eligibility and broadened the variety of learning pathways it supports. Information on the latest expansion of MPTT can be found at https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/more-opportunities-maori-and-pasifika-trades-training.
  1. Maintaining a strong performance element to tertiary funding – to ensure providers are accountable and have the incentives to support better educational outcomes for Māori students:
  • The Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) is committed to boosting achievement for Māori learners by supporting tertiary providers to ensure Māori learners attain higher levels of achievement in areas that are valued in the future labour market, as well as in areas of social and cultural value. The TEC provides incentives for tertiary education providers that are linked to their performance commitments for participation and achievement of Māori learners.
  1. Continuing to improve the information available on tertiary education, particularly on careers advice, employment outcomes and skills in demand, for Māori students, whānau, communities and iwi to enable them to make informed educational choices.
  • Information for learners is provided in several ways; through Occupational Outlook and Vocational Pathways, as well as the forthcoming introduction of Rate My Qualification, which will help learners to see which courses and qualifications are valued by employers.
  1. Examining existing support for research based on mātauranga Māori as part of the reviews of the Performance Based Research Fund and the Centres of Research Excellence.
  • In 2012/13 the Performance Based Research Fund (PBRF) was reviewed. The Research Degree Completion component of the PBRF now includes an equity weighting formula for Māori and Pasifika student completions and for theses completed in Te Reo Māori.
  • In 2015 the Government dedicated specific funding for a Māori Centre of Research Excellence to support high quality Māori research and the development of Māori researchers.
  1. Supporting approaches to up-skill Māori in the workforce by connecting tertiary education with the Māori economic development initiatives.
  • A review of foundation education programmes is being conducted to focus on delivering outcomes that learners need to move on to higher levels of education or training, and into the workforce.
  • Improvements to Youth Guarantee and Vocational Pathways have been implemented to make the transition from school to tertiary study, training and employment more effective for more young people
  • Youth Guarantee initiatives are about improving the transition from school to work, by providing a wider range of learning opportunities, making better use of the education network and creating clear pathways from school to work and further study. Trades Academies and Youth Guarantee fees-free are key initiatives in the Youth Guarantee programme.
  • Vocational Pathways help students see how their learning and achievement is valued by aligning the NCEA Level 2 Assessment Standards with industry requirements.
  1. Ensuring that Māori students' success is more transparent in NZQA's quality assessment of tertiary providers, so students, parents, whānau and iwi can better judge individual providers, improving the quality of Māori medium initial teacher education
  • NZQA provides a practical and interactive programme, "NCEA and the Whānau,"to support whānau to help their children achieve educational success. This is available in English and in te reo Māori. 
  1. Looking for opportunities for better inclusion of mātauranga Māori in tertiary programmes.
  • Governance arrangements for wānanga changed with the Education Amendment Act 2015. These changes include the increased ability of tertiary education institutions (including wānanga) to determine the composition of their Councils.
  • NZQA has incorporated the Mātauranga Māori evaluative quality assurance (MMEQA) into its processes. This will enable NZQA to respond more comprehensively to the distinct educational needs and aspirations of Māori learners, whānau, hapū and iwi.