SPANZ Day 4 - Keynote - Dr Mere Berryman - Indigenising and Decolonising: Structural and Cultural shifts

De Mere Berryman

From the SPANZ programme:

Understanding contexts for learning where equity and belonging can be a reality for Māori means coming to deeply understand historical events that have seen the systematic belittlement and redefinition of Māori identities through colonisation. Upon this historical legacy of cultural harm, school policies were imposed this century, so that we would step up (Ka Hikitia) and establish educational structures where Māori learners could ‘enjoy and achieve education success as Māori’. Today contexts for learning have seen mātauranga Māori being appropriated and applied across the system. Courageous leaders, who commit to making the aspirations of Ka Hikitia a lived reality in their schools, are ensuring that this generation of Māori learners is better served by education. Importantly they have also shown the benefits that ensue for Māori can be for all. 

Article from RNZ:

Link to Poutama Pounamu:

The risk of "indigenising" and "decolonisation" becoming a rhetoric. 

Te Kotahitanga Research 2001 

Our children are quite aboriginal in their behaviours outside school. The fact they're the same school n many days. You know... (p.216) 

What the Te Kotahitanga narratives indicated. 

Te Kotahitanga Effective Teaching Profile

The Effective Teaching Profile consists of six elements.

  1. Manaakitanga – teachers care for their students as culturally located human beings above all else.
  2. Mana motuhake – teachers care for the performance of their students.
  3. Nga whakapiringatanga – teachers are able to create a secure, well-managed learning environment.
  4. Wananga – teachers are able to engage in effective teaching interactions with Māori students as Māori.
  5. Ako – teachers can use strategies that promote effective teaching interactions and relationships with their learners.
  6. Kotahitanga – teachers promote, monitor and reflect on outcomes that in turn lead to improvements in educational achievement for Māori students.

The Effective Teaching Profile was implemented in the classroom of participating teachers in 2004 and 2005 by means of the Te Kotahitanga Professional Development Programme. This programme consists of an initial induction hui, which is followed by a term-by-term cycle of formal observations, follow-up feedback, group co-construction meetings, and targeted shadow-coaching. Other activities that support this programme, such as new knowledge, new teaching strategies and/or new assessment procedures are introduced on a “needs” basis.


Education matters to me: Key Insights Report:

Introduction of NELP in 2018 "in the schooling and education, and beyond, we have an issue of unconscious bias..."

"Māori student and under-achievement is chronic, intractable and systemic" (Holsted, 2018)

To understand how to respond to our challenges in education, we need to understand the historical biases and prejudices that are deeply embedded in our racialised colonial systems. - Moana Jackson.

The Doctrine of Discovery

Learning about the 'Doctrine of Discovery 1452'

Source: Dr Mere Berryman

The Doctrine of Discovery (also known as the Doctrine of Christian Discovery) is an international legal concept and Christian principle, that is borne out a number of catholic laws (called “papal bulls”) originating out of the Vatican in the 15th and 16th centuries. It gave the monarchies of Britain and Europe the right to conquer and claim lands, and to convert or kill the native inhabitants of those lands.


The hierarchy of races and Social Darwinism. 

Source: Dr Mere Berryman

The Native Schools 1987-1969

Following the New Zealand wars, the Native Schools Act 1867 established a national system of village primary schools under the control of the Native Department. Māori were required to donate the land for the schools, and contribute to the costs of a building and teacher’s salary, although the latter two requirements were removed in 1871. In 1879 the 57 native schools were transferred to the Department of Education, which had been established in 1877.

Manual education
School inspector Henry Taylor, writing in 1862, said, ‘I do not advocate for the Natives under present circumstances a refined education or high mental culture: it would be inconsistent, if we take into account the position they are likely to hold for many years to come in the social scale, and inappropriate, if we remember that they are better calculated by nature to get their living by manual rather than by mental labour.’1 The belief in the suitability of Māori for working-class occupations was to persist in official circles well into the 20th century.

Leading both linguicide and Cultural Erasure for my parent's generation - "...the natural abandonment of the native tongue involves no loss to the Maori". 

Our Nation's Story 1926 - Our nation's story was a history if Britain, not New Zealand.

Maori and Missionary

In the early 19th century government officials in New South Wales and London, and British missionary societies, were concerned that Europeans visiting New Zealand introduced Māori to prostitution, alcohol, muskets and disease. With the aim of protecting Māori from the worst effects of European colonisation, they decided to set up Christian missions in New Zealand. Māori whalers were among their earliest converts. The Northland chief Ruatara had travelled to London on board a whaling ship and met the missionary Samuel Marsden. As a result, Marsden based his first mission at Ruatara’s community in the Bay of Islands. A later mission was based at Paihia, directly opposite the whaling port of Kororāreka. The contrast between the peaceful and devout mission station and the violent and drunken township led the two communities to be known as Heaven and Hell.

1988 - What changed for my sons? The Cultures Collide - Peter Woodcock

Ka Hikitia 2008-2012; 2013-2017; 2020

Ka Hikitia – Ka Hāpaitia

Ka Hikitia, the Māori Education Strategy, has been refreshed as part of the Education Work Programme.

About the strategy
Ka Hikitia is a cross-agency strategy for the education sector.

The agencies include the Ministry of Education, Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu, Education New Zealand, Education Review Office, New Zealand Qualifications Authority, The Teaching Council Aotearoa New Zealand, Tertiary Education Commission, New Zealand School Trustees Association. The education sector includes all early learning, schooling, and tertiary education provision.

It sets out how we will work with education services to achieve system shifts in education and support Māori learners and their whānau, hapū and iwi to achieve excellent and equitable outcomes and provides an organising framework for the actions we will take.

The framework has five outcome domains:

Te Whānau: Education provision responds to learners within the context of their whānau
Te Tangata: Māori are free from racism, discrimination and stigma in education
Te Kanorautanga: Māori are diverse and need to be understood in the context of their diverse aspirations and lived experiences
Te Tuakiritanga: Identity, language and culture matter for Māori learners
Te Rangatiratanga: Māori exercise their authority and agency in education.

These outcome domains reflect key messages that we have heard from whānau, hapū, Iwi, Māori over an extended period of time and our evidence base about what works for Māori learners and their whānau.

Elizabeth Forgie - Keri Keri High School

Brown Frills:
  • Bilingual signage
  • Translations rather than the metaphors
  • Kapahaka
  • Te re Māori
  • Māori iconography
  • Transactional
  • Transformational
  • Transformative
Social Justice has missed Māori in the past. 

Resisting the status quo - changing what's in our head and hearts
Maintain or develop greater cultural competence - the culture of the school must be indigenised therefore, decolonisation will need to be part of this 
Experience success - different relationships, pedagogies, systems and structures must be prioritised
Contribute to the success of others - indignity and decolonisation must go hand in hand

Critical consciousness - a level of sociopolitical awareness through a person understands their positionality in the world. 

"Pathways of least regret" - Jacinda Ardern.

"Your voices matter. You voices can make the change, but only when we understand it" - Mere Berryman

To watch: Once were gardeners - Moana Jackson


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