The Curriculum/Marautanga Project was launched in 2003 to build on the recommendations of the Curriculum Stocktake Report (Ministry of Education, 2002) in reframing the national curriculum. A key change to the curriculum is the proposed replacement of the essential skills with key competency groups. The process of co-construction, through various forms of contribution, has led to the development of a framework of five key competency groups. This article reflects upon those contributions and traces movements in thinking around the concept, construction, and inclusion of key competencies in the New Zealand Curriculum Project. Key themes of exploration include the "concept" of key competencies, the definitions it encompasses, and the theories of learning, teaching, and curriculum it implies. Questions about the place of key competencies within the New Zealand curriculum in relation to the essential learning areas and defining and naming a key competency framework relevant to New Zealand are also explored.