You are here

Te Kura Tapa Whā: Embedding an Indigenous model of wellbeing into the learning environment

Te Kura Tapa Whā is a framework for culturally responsive action. It combines the original work of Tā Mason Durie’s Te Whare Tapa Whā, the principles set out in Ka Hikitia: Accelerating Success 2013–2017 and Ka Hikitia, Ka Hāpaitia, and the noted locatives of runga, raro, roto, and waho that have a regular place in Māori prose and poetry.
When staff and leaders are on board, Te Kura Tapa Whā can guide conversations that will motivate action. It provides for incremental changes which are intended to be uncomplicated and applicable.
The text is designed to be used by individuals or staff groups as an explorative exercise. The exercise enables users of this guide to first, conduct a needs assessment; secondly, to review what is being done; and finally, to identify where potential for opportunity lies.
This book will help accelerate equity in mainstream education by improving staff awareness and strategy building around Māori engagement.

The authors

Hayley Tewai Welch (Ngāti Wai) leads the student recruitment team at Auckland University of Technology (AUT). Her education includes a Bachelor of Sport & Recreation (University of Waikato), te reo Māori (Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi), and an MBA (AUT). She started her career in personal training then moved into health promotion linking health policy to education strategy, focusing particularly on engagement with Māori and Pacific students and whānau.
Hayley is a mother of three and an aunty of five.

Angus Hikairo Macfarlane (Ngāti Rangiwewehi; Ngāti Whakāue) is Professor of Māori Research at the University of Canterbury. His research and teaching is concerned with Indigenous and sociocultural imperatives that influence education and psychology. He has pioneered several theoretical frameworks associated with culturally responsive approaches for professionals working across the disciplines.

Matiu Tai Rātima (Te Whakatōhea; Ngāti Pūkeko) is a senior lecturer in Māori education. He is a former secondary school reo Māori teacher and his research and teaching interests are in culturally responsive teaching in initial teacher education (ITE) and in the second-language teaching and learning of te reo Māori.

Sandra Lee Skipwith (Ngāti Whātua; Ngāti Wai; Waikato; Ngāti Maniapoto) was trained as a teacher, and after teaching in alternate education for some years moved to Māori health as a health promoting schools’ kaiarahi. She is the mother of three adult children and the proud nanny of six mokopuna. Sandra and Hayley Welch are mother and daughter.

Jennifer Pearl Smith (Ngāti Whātua; Ngāpuhi) is a lecturer in Māori education at the University of Canterbury. She is a former primary school teacher. Her main research interests are in responsive pedagogy for culturally diverse students, and the creation of responsive environments for Māori teachers within culturally diverse mainstream education environments.

The online support material for Te Kura Tapa Whā (p. 58) comprises 6 videos collated on a Google Sites page ( To access Google Sites, a Google account is needed. Fortunately all 6 videos are also available on YouTube, links below.
1. An introduction by the author
2. Context for the framework
3. Models of wellness
4. Self-reflection session
5. Locatives
6. Te Kura Tapa Whā framework