Purpose and Vision

The Waipaparoa Kāhui Ako are committed to preparing ākonga to become culturally responsive and successful members of society. By embedding Āheitanga, we aim to leverage the strengths of our Kāhui Ako and work collaboratively to guide our ākonga. Our goal is to help them realise their potential and become lifelong learners.

What are Āheitanga?

Āheitanga refers to capabilities, competencies, and dispositions. It underpins all teaching and learning across all subject areas. Āheitanga can be taught, practised, and strengthened over time to maximize opportunities for ākonga. The goal is to help them achieve success in their learning and become critical, informed, and responsible citizens.

Āheitanga Project Timeline


The Waipaparoa Kāhui Ako was established. David Ellery was appointed as the Lead Principal of the Kāhui Ako. The Senior Leadership Team held discussions at a planning retreat. Cathy Wiley and Rose Hipkins (NZCER) joined as expert advisors to discuss achievement challenges – Science/STEM, Student Agency, Reading, and Writing were topics for discussion. Achievement challenges were developed in broad terms with student agency as a focus.


In May, the Achievement Plan was approved by the Board of Trustees. In November, it was approved by the Ministry of Education.


In January, Kāhui Ako Across School Leaders (ASLs) and Within School Leaders (WSLs) were selected and appointed. The first hui for WSLs, run by ASLs, took place in May. Robin Kirkham, the principal of Point View, was appointed as the Lead Principal of the Kāhui Ako.


In April, ASLs and SLT met to develop a set of shared transition statements that capture our vision and identify what a 21st-century learner looks like at each point. Throughout this period, the agreed capabilities by principals and lead teams were as follows:

  1. Cultural and Social Responsiveness
  2. Communication and Collaboration
  3. Awareness of Self and Others
  4. Adaptive and Productive Thinking

They also developed a set of matrices of progressions in capabilities across the Kāhui Ako. Kerrie Holmes (Associate Principal – Botany Downs Secondary College) was appointed Lead Principal. Work began in earnest on Āheitanga around 21st-century skills and capabilities. The four themes were identified through research (Charles Fadel – Developing 21st-century skills and capabilities). Meetings were held once a term by ASLs to give WSLs the opportunity to engage with supporting material so they could take ideas to their kura to develop. After robust discussion, it was unanimously decided to develop capabilities and transition pathways from the primary sector through to the secondary sector. The Coherent Pathways Guidance document became a valuable resource for developing our Kāhui Ako Capabilities and Transition Pathways, overarching statements, and transition statements. School leaders met with the “Education Group” and mapped out some professional development that will take place across the Kāhui Ako over the next two years. Principals took the outcomes from this workshop to our first meeting with ASLs to determine an overarching plan for this PLD. PLD Funding was approved to support the Kāhui Ako and its community.


Kura began to align its learner profiles with Āheitanga.


Ed Roper (Principal of Shelly Park) was appointed as the Lead Principal at the beginning of 2023. The previous Achievement challenges for 2024-2026 were reviewed by ASLs together with the Lead Principal. The refreshed Achievement challenges are Āheitanga, Cultural Responsiveness, and Literacy.

Why does it matter?

Learning for ākonga is enriched when a clear and coherent learning pathway exists within and across Kura. As a Kāhui Ako, the identification of a common set of capabilities provides an opportunity for our ākonga to develop skills, dispositions, and competencies that are too significant to leave to chance. The process of capturing transition statements, which identify what ākonga should understand, know, and be able to do at key transition points in their learning, provides a focus and adds depth and breadth to their learning, growth, and development.

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