Ko Wai Mātou? | Who are we?

Who are we?

The people involved in Tārai Kura are skilled educators,  drawn from the alliance of four partner companies- CORE Education Tātai Aho Rau, Te Huinga Kākākura Mātauranga: Evaluation Associates, Leadership Lab and Tātai Angitu: Massey University. We work as one team alongside the Ministry of Education to support the build process at your school and to ensure your kura can benefit from the diverse and rich experiences this alliance offers. These skilled facilitators are known as Ringa Whao and Ringa Roi.

Ringa Whao – a guide; a critical friend.

Ringa means hand, and whao is a chisel that is used in carving wood. Together the kupu express someone who is deft with their hands and skilled at guiding and using this tool to help produce the final whakairo. The Ringa Whao of Tārai Kura are the skilled people that have experience working through each stage of a build project. 

The Ringa Whao is a guide to support your journey.  They assist by focussing on the processes that support the development of a kura or school’s build process. This involves connecting with mana whenua, the school board, proprietors, whānau and communities, to encourage them to think widely about how the school’s property design can best support the contexts in which the curriculum will be delivered, while protecting local identity and culture. 

Ringa Whao are skilled listeners and facilitators who can connect you to the other pieces of the Tārai Kura suite of opportunities. When a kura or school receives Tārai Kura support, they will be allocated a Ringa Whao who will provide 1:1 guided support based on the needs of your board, school, and community. They will be your ongoing contact throughout the build process and beyond. The hands that guide the chisels. In the case of a Capital Works project, the support will focus on developing the Education Brief.

Tārai Kura brings together skilled and experienced educators that can guide this process alongside the various kura and schools it works with. The ‘whao’ in this instance is a metaphor for all the knowledge and experience each party brings to the project. Whether that be the kōrero and mātauranga of mana whenua, the governance skills of the school board, the leadership of tumuaki and their kaiako, the unlimited potential of the tamariki and the support of their whānau, or the skills of the Ringa whao themselves.

Ringa Roi – mana whenua advocates

Ringa Roi are a specialist team of Mana Whenua advocates/Māori advisors from each of our alliance partners.  They support the team in building capacity and capability in the building of partnerships with Mana Whenua/iwi, and can navigate alongside Ringa Whao in this space. 

Ringa Roi may be called upon to support the scoping and connecting of mana whenua relationships relevant to a particular school. 

They do not speak on behalf of hapū, iwi or local runanga and will advocate for schools to seek relationships with mana whenua. They are able to provide guidance and support for kura who are navigating this process.

Mana whenua

Mana whenua refers to the mana held by local people who have ‘demonstrated authority’ over land or territory in a particular area, authority which is derived through whakapapa links to that area.

While tangata whenua refers to ‘people of the land’, our indigenous people (ngā iwi Māori), mana whenua refers to the people who have local tribal or sub-tribal authority in an area. Mana whenua engagement is at the forefront of this mahi.

Tumuaki and school leaders

Tumuaki and school leaders – who are leading rebuilds, property redevelopments with a Master Plan or those who are appointed by the Establishment Board (eBoT) of a new school to implement the Board’s policies and establish the procedures and operational day to day running of the school; often involved with the eBoT in developing/finalising the schools vision or learning.

Establishment Board (eBoT) – the first governance team who are primarily charged with establishing the new kura or school; engaging with mana whenua and local community through consultation processes; appointing the new tumuaki and leadership team; and establishing the systems of governance that will underpin a kura or school’s development.

Governance Facilitator – Appointed by the Ministry, this is a hands-on role to support the establishment board to get the kura operational. The Governance Facilitator supports the eBoT with its policy development and the development of the strategic plan; supports the process of appointing a principal; supports the agreement of the enrolment scheme; assists with the procurement of school assets; supports the eBoT through the ERO readiness review process; and supports the process to plan for and move to an elected Board.

Ministry of Education representatives

The Ministry of Education are alliance partners with Tarai Kura in this work. Ringa Whao can support the work of the property team by supporting the eBoT and tumuaki to develop an Education Brief that brings an education lens to the new build.