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Why provide learning opportunities in te ao kori?

While the activities described in this resource are likely to affirm and enrich Māori students, they are intended to be inclusive and appropriate for all.

Exploring Te Ao Kori provides opportunities for non-Māori students to access the culture and knowledge of what is specific to the tangata whenua (local people). It also provides opportunities for Māori students to access customary practices, values, and knowledge in either mainstream education settings or Māori-medium education. This has important implications for the education of Māori when many now live far from their tribal origins, with reduced access to the practice of tikanga (see Tikanga Guidelines ).

Learning opportunities in this resource contribute to the dimensions of hauora (well-being) outlined on page 31 of Health and Physical Education in the New Zealand Curriculum (1999) – taha tinana (physical well-being), taha hinengaro (mental and emotional well-being), taha whānau (social well-being), and taha wairua (spiritual well-being) – and should be delivered in such a way that learning and development in all four dimensions is provided for. Through the totality of these dimensions, students will begin to learn tikanga and te reo Māori and will be able to use this knowledge to enhance their own well-being, and that of others and of their community.

These learning opportunities within te ao kori also have strong links to the arts:


The arts are powerful forms of personal, social, and cultural expression. They are unique 'ways of knowing' that enable individuals and groups to create ideas and images that reflect, communicate, and change their views of the world. The arts stimulate imagination, thinking, and understanding. They challenge our perceptions, uplift and entertain us, and enrich our emotional and spiritual lives. As expressions of culture, the arts pass on and renew our heritage and traditions and help to shape our sense of identity.


The Arts in the New Zealand Curriculum, page 9

Exploring Te Ao Kori also provides opportunities to:

  • affirm the status and culture of tangata whenua
  • learn to value diversity and practise inclusiveness
  • understand biculturalism and lay the foundation for multiculturalism
  • involve whānau (family group) and community through consultation and programme delivery
  • experience success and provide leadership development for students
  • integrate Māori resources within the school
  • create and perform contemporary expressions of te ao kori.