Te Ara Whakamana works with a large range of clients across the Education and Social Services sector. See below for what our clients have to say about their experiences with Te Ara Whakamana, and if you would like further information about how Te Ara Whakamana is being used in practice, we can put you in touch with existing practitioners in your area.

Randwick School, Lower Hutt

“Randwick School took on the Te Ara Whakamana kaupapa two years ago as we saw a real need for a tool that supported our students to connect with their identity, realise their potential and strengths and give them strategies to deal with challenge, conflict and change. It is an indigenous model that is culturally centered and based on the needs of the child, rather than simply on behaviour.

Te Ara Whakamana has done that and more. Enhancing mana is at the core of everything that we do and we have seen a shift in the confidence of our students and their ability to communicate their feelings and needs.

I would go so far as to say that Te Ara Whakamana has been the most significant professional learning that I have undertaken in 30 years of education.”

Simonne Goodall
Tumuaki / Principal, Randwick School

Irongate School in Flaxmere, Hastings, has been using the Te Ara Whakamana: Mana Enhancement model for 5 years, to great success. As part of a wider network, principal, Maurice Rehu, ensures anyone working in their school has been trained in Te Ara Whakamana: Mana Enhancement. This includes RTLB, Social Workers, and Public Health Nurses. Irongate School also recognises their connections to Ngāti Kahungunu where whānau, hapu and iwi, are working towards building a community of practice underpinned by the kaupapa of Te Ara Whakamana.

“I 100% see this as something that every school in NZ needs to be doing to get the very best outcomes for all students. It’s culturally responsive, it’s child-centred, it’s strength-based, all the things that we know make a difference, especially for Maori and Pacifika learners, but for all learners.”

Maurice Rehu
Tumuaki / Principal, Irongate School

“As soon as the pen hits the paper it’s real. This boy thought he couldn’t control his anger. Even his parents thought nothing could help him. Now he has a tool that really helps him. His whānau relationships have improved too as everyone has a role to play and are part of the solution.

Laurie Holmes, Youth Worker

“Te Ara Whakamana: Mana Enhancement has been a strategy used by Matapuna Training Centre as part of a targeted programme to address negative behaviours impacting on student learning and excessive time for staff spent managing disruptions. We have found the Mana Enhancement approach empowers students to find solutions to their problems. All of the students that have completed a Te Ara Whakamana: Mana Enhancement plan have asked to keep a copy and talked about the meeting and resulting plan with their tutors and peers. Many of the student’s peers have come and asked to do Te Ara Whakamana: Mana Enhancement! This has resulted in no significant student behaviour issues in 2015 and a significantly improved focus on learning – thank you Sue and Nigel!”

Jodie Cook, Chief Executive Officer, Matapuna Training Centre, Gisborne

“What I love about it is that from a Corrections world view, we are risk adverse and often forget that within each of us there is strength, from adversity comes strength and coping – Te Ara Whakamana: Mana Enhancement allows us the opportunity to explore that.”

Alison Fowlie, Department of Corrections Practice Leader, Te Tai Tokerau

Arahoe School adopted Te Ara Whakamana: Mana Enhancement in 2017 as part of a pilot research project. Arahoe School has continued to provide the model as a culturally responsive and centered framework, therefore ensuring that all students at Arahoe thrive in recognising their uniqueness.

In the process, teachers, students and whanau (families) have connected through co-constructive conversations that empower our students and teachers in understanding individual uniqueness, values, and talents and how best to tap into this.

As a diverse multi-ethnic school, they are actioning culturally responsive pedagogy through the Te Ara Whakamana model thus honouring their families, their obligation to the Treaty of Waitangi, and bi-cultural status as a nation and the many qualities that Māori narratives offer us and our learning.

“Te Ara Whakamana: Mana Enhancement transcends who I am as a Māori into a contemporary framework through the use of metaphor and colour that undoes what Colonisation has done to my people.

Whaea Hera Pearce, Kaupapa Māori Sexual Violence Practitioner

“The more I have used (Te Ara Whakamana) the more my practice with this has developed and recently in my own private practice I have been overwhelmed with the impact it is having with my clients in the counselling context. I work privately with clients who have experienced a lot of trauma. A lot of my work in the beginning is around creating a sense of safety, before exploring the depths of the trauma story. Most recently my work with Te Ara Whakamana has been to identify my clients resources as a reference to the pathway to self care. I am so passionate and excited about using it as a rich therapeutic tool in the counselling context.”

Jean Tidy, Counsellor, Family Works Hawkes Bay

Feedback from teachers at Cobham School, Gisborne

“This is life changing.”
“I can use this to help my whānau be stronger”
“I have seen the impact this makes and it is worth doing it for the kids”
“Everything makes sense for me now. I have a better understanding of what I can do to help”
“I can use this as my behaviour management in the classroom.
“This will help me understand my students better”
“This day helped heal me.”

Feedback on Te Ara Whakamana, collected for a Ministry of Education-commissioned Evaluation in 2021. The full evaluation can be found here: Te Ara Whakamana Mana Enhancement Evaluation

“It’s culturally responsive, it’s child-centred, it’s strength-based. All the things we know make a difference especially for Māori and Pasifika learners, but for all learners.” (School 3)

“Student hauora and wellbeing went through the roof in terms of engagement, student achievement levels as well as attendance.” (School 3)

“I think it helps them to realise that being different is a good thing and if we were all the same, life would be boring. It wouldn’t be as fun, and it really does strengthen relationships because it strengthens how well they know themselves; it therefore strengthens their ability to understand others.” (School 2)

“Te Ara Whakamana was the first thing that I saw that we were giving our tamariki the power back saying, ‘This is what I need, and this is what I need you to do to help me.’ So, when everything is put back into perspective for them, they know that there’s a process that will enable them to get back into Rongo.” (School

“I can only speak for myself but when I first implemented it into my classroom, all the tamariki accelerated in their learning. They wanted to be at school so attendance was high as well because they were enjoying it. They were learning about themselves really.” (Teacher, School 1)

Because our tamariki are majority Māori in our school, the foundational bit is that the tamaiti can make a connection with their identity. So, they see themselves within Te Ara Whakamana and when you make a
connection with something you identify with, straight away it can regulate your emotional state because you see yourself in whatever it is.” (School 1)

About us

Te Ara Whakamana is a tool designed by:
Ako Solutionz – Plans and Strategies for Positive Change.

About us

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PO Box 585, Turanga Nui a Kiwa, Gisborne 4040
+64 27 226 8395

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