How do we offer proactive, holistic support to Kura Kaupapa Māori graduates?


  • Ruth Thomas Toi Ohomai Te Pūkenga



Kura Kaupapa Māori, Māori-medium education, Te Pūkenga, Know the learner


This ATLAANZ 2022 conference presentation was based on the experiences of an interviewee in the author’s research on students’ experiences and perceptions of learning support services at Toi Ohomai Te Pūkenga (Toi Ohomai). The interviewee had graduated from a Kura Kaupapa Māori (KKM) in a small town, where they had studied science in te reo Māori. At Toi Ohomai, they felt unable to disclose to the tutor of their English-medium, science-based course that they were not familiar with the vocabulary being used. The tutor, meanwhile, assumed all their learners knew the English terms. The interviewee described how in class they “felt dumb”. At the same time, they were trying to adjust to life in a city which was very different. I reflected on how KKM graduates could be better supported. I concluded that if Toi Ohomai tutors and staff had a way to identify KKM graduates, they could proactively offer them support and resources. I explored options for identifying ākonga from Māori-medium education in the Toi Ohomai learning management system. I then spoke with the Head of Māori Success at Toi Ohomai, who discussed the idea with colleagues. An alternative approach was agreed upon, based on the core practice of knowing the learner.


Education Review Office. (2021). Te Kura Huanui: The treasures of successful pathways. Ministry of Education.

Ministry of Education. (2022, February 23). Successful pathways for ākonga Māori and whānau. Education Gazette, 101(2).