Statistics show that Māori are over-represented in all negative indicators of special educational needs.
Mātauranga motuhake is based on qualitative research that followed a kaupapa Māori process to present a uniquely Māori perspective on special education. The research shows the whānau as the main pillar supporting children with special educational needs. The examples given in the report show how some schools and services are able to offer successful support within a Māori kaupapa which is both Māori - and child-centred.
Mātauranga motuhake presents whānau-based responses where children are accepted and naturally integrated into their schools and communities. It can be argued that where whānau have access to services and support enabling their children to experience education on a par with other children, equitable solutions have been reached. The voices from each whānau are heard telling their own stories of the children as taonga, requiring extra special care or awhitanga, and the whānau strengthened by their experiences in the process.