Tārai Kura Shaping a treasured space for learning

The word tārai means to shape something (usually made of wood) using adzes and similar tools into whatever it is going to become. The most common use of this kupu is in the shaping of a waka out of a chosen rākau. 

Kura has multiple meanings. It can mean ‘school,’ as in reference to the significance of a place to gain knowledge. It can also mean a treasured possession or something very special. Finally, it can also be translated as our feature colour – red.

Tārai Kura looks to shape new and existing kura through the collaboration of all people related to that space, through wānanga and kōrero. The goal of Tārai Kura is to support kura, schools, tumuaki, staff, whānau, mana whenua, boards, proprietors, and communities to think more broadly about how school property design can best support local kōrero, identity and culture as the basis of a rich and relevant curriculum. Tārai Kura assists educational transformation through a co-designed collaborative approach.

Tārai Kura is about working together to shape the new ‘kura’ through the collaboration of all people related to that ‘kura’ and realising its full potential to be a place of powerful and wonderful learning for all of the tamariki that attend now and those mokopuna to come in the future.

Ngā Mātāpono – Our guiding principles

A set of overarching principles guide and inform the relationships between Alliance members in Tārai Kura, and the ways in which Alliance members work with other partners.

Mana whenua engagement is non-negotiable

  • Cultural integrity underpins our work together. We are Te Tiriti o Waitangi-led in all our practices.
  • Mana whenua engagement is at the forefront of any mahi this group will engage in.
  • We will in all cases advocate for strengthening relationships between the Kura and Mana whenua, recognising there may be multiple Iwi for schools.

Tamaiti will be at the centre of all decisions

  • We want our tamariki, mokopuna to be ‘confident, connected, actively involved, lifelong learners’ empowering them through a focus on language, culture and identity.
  • We are designing for tamariki not yet born or known, so we are building to serve the future.

This rōpū is about mahi tahi (working with) and not ‘doing to’ …

  • We will create and enable space for the local context to emerge. We are not a PLD project.
  • Tārai Kura supports and enables schools and kura to address significant transformational developments based on each school’s unique situation.
  • The Ministry of Education and the Alliance providers are partners in this mahi, upholding a consistent narrative of Tārai Kura, the Rātā narrative and Ringa Whao.