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Āta-kōrero: Building evaluative conversation

Toni Rewiri, Veraneeca Taiepa, and Rosemary Dewerse

At Te Whare Wānanga o Wairaka/Unitec Institute of Technology, located in Auckland, our partnership agreement, Te Noho Kotahitanga, is inspiring us to apply kaupapa Māori to strengthen our ability in evaluative conversation, in response to an external review. Āta-kōrero, an evaluative frame drawn from the work of Taina Whakaatere Pohatu in Āta, is being applied and developed via action research. Āta-kōrero is a five-step process that moves from the gathering of evidence (Āta-haere), through its consideration (Āta-titiro) and interpretation (Āta-whakaaro), to goal setting (Āta-tohutohu) and reporting (Āta-tuhi). Āta requires that this be done with great carefulness, deliberation, and thorough-going reflection, prioritising people. An initial pilot and two full implementation rounds with 65 teams delivering more than 80 programmes have been conducted since March 2019. Āta-kōrero is enabling evaluative conversation that is culturally responsive, collectively owned, increasingly rigorous, empowering, and aligned with expressed values.

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