SPANZ Day 3 - Workshop - Kaupapa Māori principles of leadership

Peggy Burrows

From the SPANZ programme:

In 2010, I undertook a PhD research project to investigate why disparities existed in the achievement levels of Māori students and their Pākehā peers. As an educational leader I wanted to explore the Aoteoroa New Zealand educational landscape in an attempt to understand why these disparities occurred. I framed my study as an autoethnography, because I wanted to explore my own learning as I grappled with assumptions, ideas and theories that existed outsidde my personal sphere of experience around why Māori ākonga/students consistently failed in the school system. 

Over a two year period, from 2010 to 2012, I collected anecdotes shared with me by Māori ākonga/students, whānau/parents, kaimahi/staff and board members about their experiences of school life. I recorded the anecdotes as vignettes then coded and grouped them according to recurring themes I identified. The five most significant recurring themes evident were: ahurea tuakiri/cultural identity, mōriroriro/cultural alienation, mōriroriro/cultural ātetenga/resistance, mātauranga Māori/Māori world view and tino rangatiratanga/Māori self-determination. My research was an exploration of my professional growth as a leader and my search for hautūtanga/leadership pedagogies demonstrated as enhancing the educational outcomes of Māori ākonga/ students.

Link to Peggy's PHD thesis Fostering Biculturalism: exploring principal hautūtanga/leadership in a South Island secondary school in Aotearoa New Zealand - An Autoethnography

Three Selves - The Interrogation of Self - how I was going to change once I learned new information. 

Māori knowledge - the body of knowledge originating from Māori ancestors, include the Māori world view and perspectives, Māori creative and cultural practices.

Data gathering - reflective journal, collecting anecdotes from students, teacher and board. 5000 stories about experiences of learning as Māori. They would tell it orally andI would write it. Then story was then shared home and they corrected it. Creative non-fiction Narrative. 


  • Auherea/Identity
  • Mōiriroriro/Cultural Alienation
  • Atetenga/Resitance
  • Te Ao Māori/Māori World View
  • Tino Rangatira/Self-determination
  • Ahuatanga Koretake - Stereotype
  • Tino Rangatiratanga - Self-determination
  • Tinana - Reality

Video description - The second of our 2021 series we explored the subject in the forefront of our minds by firstly hearing from Mana Whenua who gave us a brief insight on how we can incorporate being a good treaty partner in our everyday lives. This sparked those thoughts and questions we’ve been wanting to address but just didn’t know where to start or who to approach. Big thanks to  our Keynote Speaker Kaharoa Manihera - Senior Advisor - Ngai Tahu & Maori Relationships at Christchurch City Council.

Ki te Wero o Hautūtanga - what is the leadership challenge?

Ellis (2007) "Relational ethics requires researchers to act from our hearts and minds, to acknowledge our interpersonal bonds to others, and initiate and maintain conversations." (p.4) 

Model of interconnectivity

The reinvention of self - the answer to my question 

“I’ve come to a frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It’s my personal approach that creates the climate. It’s my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or dehumanized.”
- Haim Ginott 1972


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