Te Ao Māori

Recognition of Cultural Diversity

Ngākuru School celebrates New Zealand's growing cultural diversity, and strives to ensure that all students feel culturally safe and valued. We aim to create a learning environment that is caring, inclusive, cohesive, and attends to the cultural and linguistic diversity of our students. We appreciate that students may identify with more than one cultural group.

"The curriculum reflects New Zealand’s cultural diversity and values the histories and traditions of all its people." The New Zealand Curriculum, p. 9

Our school community has families from many nationalities and cultural backgrounds.

Recognising and celebrating cultural diversity

We recognise, value, and celebrate the different cultures represented within our school and wider community, in a variety of ways. Examples include:

  • integrating cultural perspectives through curriculum areas across all levels

  • providing opportunities for students, their families, and the wider school community to use and share their cultural knowledge

  • being sensitive to all religious beliefs and belief systems

  • demonstrating an awareness of and respect for cultural practices (e.g. not sitting on tables, pronouncing names correctly)

  • using our communication tools to share and celebrate cultural diversity with our school families (e.g. school newsletter, website)

  • supporting students for whom English is not their first language

  • reflecting different cultures in our school environment (e.g. signage, murals, artwork)

  • celebrating festivals and significant holidays from a range of cultures

  • running our own cultural events and activities (e.g. clubs, international assemblies, food festivals).


We respect the unique position of Māori as tangata whenua (the indigenous people) of New Zealand and te reo Māori (Māori language) as an official New Zealand language.

“The curriculum acknowledges the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi, and the bi-cultural foundations of Aotearoa New Zealand. All students have the opportunity to acquire knowledge of te reo Māori me ōna tikanga.” The New Zealand Curriculum, p. 9

Te Tiriti o Waitangi for more about our commitment to the principles of the Treaty.

Improving Educational Outcomes for Māori Students for how we promote, monitor, and report on Māori student achievement.

We foster Māori culture through:

  • teaching te reo Māori (e.g. greetings, counting, mihi, basic vocabulary, pronunciation, place names)

  • incorporating tikanga (the Māori way of doing things) in school life (e.g. mihi whakatau (greeting/welcome speech), pōwhiri (welcome ceremony), waiata (songs), kapa haka (Māori cultural group), whakamoemiti (expressing thanks), and karakia (prayer/ritual chant))

  • accessing Māori cultural advisors

  • integrating Māori, and using resources that recognise New Zealand’s dual cultural heritage, through all curriculum areas where appropriate

  • fostering relationships with local iwi and visiting marae, as appropriate

  • holding whānau hui (family meetings) and convening whānau groups.

If whānau request a higher level of Māori education, staff and whānau will discuss and explore options such as:

  • explaining existing programmes more fully

  • extending existing programmes if and as appropriate

  • combining with another school for parts of the day/programme

  • providing in-school support and resources to further enhance inclusion of te reo and tikanga Māori for the student

  • exploring other schools that may offer programmes closer to their expectations

  • using community expertise (people and organisations) to help with any of the above.

  • Pasifika

We respect the place of the Pasifika people and culture in New Zealand and foster it through integrating Pasifika into curriculum areas, where appropriate.

We have considered the Pasifika Education Plan (PEP) 2013–2017, and its significance for our school. We support its vision to see "five out of five Pasifika learners participating, engaging, and achieving in education, secure in their identities, languages and cultures and contributing to Aotearoa New Zealand’s social, cultural and economic well-being".

We foster Pasifika culture through fono evenings, and our Pasifika culture group.


We have Matua Grant coming to school every Thursday to help us with Māori Tikanga and Kapa Haka. Teachers work closely with him to revise and update our current pedagogy in culturally responsive practices in line with Ka Hikitia – Managing For Success - The Maori Education Strategy and Tataiako - Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Maori Learners.

Respecting and valuing Ngakuru School’s cultural diversity is the key to being culturally responsive with school wide and classroom programs that reflect and respect cultural similarities and differences.