Deanna Niha, leader of He Waka Eke Noa ECE centre in Whangarei, discusses how she and her centre are approaching bilingual and bicultural education and leadership. Deanna addresses specific Te Ao Māori concepts and metaphors that reflect taonga tuku iho attributes and support kaiako to understand that when we work from a mana-inspired leadership model, we can engage in authentic, mana-inspired teaching and learning. 

To help you navigate the webinar easily, there is a list of the key topics covered in the session below, including the time each was discussed. The key ideas discussed in this webinar are also shared in a short insight article

Topics discussed in this webinar 

Times shown in minutes and seconds from the start of the video

2.10How do you conceptualise bicultural practice in your centre? 
4.04How do you conceptualise bicultural leadership? 
10.18What is mana? What is mana-inspired leadership? 
17.40How to uphold mana in difficult situations
21.04How the team at He Waka Eke Noa work together to ensure that everyone is aligned in their practice 
28.08Developing bicultural values with whānau 
30.40Involving teachers and whānau from diverse cultures in bicultural practice 
34.40What does bicultural practice look like in practice 
38.47How to find out about and recognise families’ aspirations for children 
43.55What inspires Deanna’s leadership

Questions for exploring the key ideas from this webinar 

  • How can we protect and nurture the mana of our children, their families, and our team members? What does it mean to be considerate of another’s mana when engaging in interactions? 
  • How strong do we stand in our own identity? How is this a resource for developing bicultural understandings? 
  • How often do we have the opportunity to unpack our values and aspirations as a team, and use these to inform philosophy and practice?  
  • How well do we know our children’s whakapapa, identity and taonga tuku iho? In what ways can we build on these in our curriculum and planning? 
  • How well do we know our team members’ whakapapa, identity and taonga tuku iho? 

Further reading 

Alsop, P., & Kupenga, T.R. (2016). Mauri ora: Wisdom from the Māori world. Nelson, NZ: Potton & Burton. 

Ministry of Education (2009). Te Whatu Pōkeka: Kaupapa Māori Assessment for Learning: Early Childhood Exemplars. Wellington, NZ: Learning Media.  

The Education Hub’s guide to culturally responsive teaching for Māori