He Pikorua guides our practices so we can work together within the Learning Support Delivery Model to provide a coherent, evidence-based approach.

We’ll focus less on services and criteria, and more on joining up services to support mokopuna and the adults around them in ways that build on their strengths.

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Tenei te pou ka tu

Tenei te pou ka maia

Marama mai i roto

Tiaho mai i roto

Hei pou whakarongo

Hei pou atawhai

Mō tēnei kaupapa

He Pikorua

Ko Tane whakapiripiri

Ko Tane te wānanga

Tō manawa

Tōku manawa

Haumi e Hui e

Taiki e

(As the opening karakia is being read the animated seeds fade from darkness into the light. This suggests an awakening from darkness to light, from unknowing to knowing, and the seeds a metaphor for new growth. It talks of Tāne te wānanga who stands as a sentry guiding and supporting us on the journey, where our hearts are bound together in alliance and we commit)

Hui te mārama hei purapura ora

Working together, we nurture and support the growth and wellbeing of mokopuna.

This whakatauāki was gifted by Dr Wayne Ngata, as Chief Advisor Te Ao Māori at the Ministry of Education in 2019. It sits at the heart of He Pikorua and underpins the way we practice across learning support.

Our work is guided by Te Tiriti o Waitangi within the Learning Support Delivery Model and our inclusive education system.

He Pikorua is our practice framework. It has been developed to bring together existing Learning Support practice frameworks and the RTLB Toolkit.

Its purpose is to help you work with confidence as specialist practitioners and with the collective knowledge, energy and support of others.

He Pikorua consists of seven guiding principles. These principles ensure that our mokopuna are at the centre of the way we work. They ensure we address challenges, value identity, language and culture, and understand and respond to diverse needs. They help us consider contexts and environments and base our practice on inquiry and collective expertise.

The principles guide He Pikorua in action. They support how we work together to connect, gather information, understand, plan, take action and review.

The principles of He Pikorua guide our work with mokopuna, with groups of whanau or educators and mokopuna they support.

They also apply when we work across whole schools, kura and early learning services.

He Pikorua allows practice to be flexible and respond to the unique needs of our mokopuna, whānau, educators and communities.

How we work provides examples of how He Pikorua is brought into practice. Through the resources section we can link to important documents and tools that are specific to our practice, including competencies, standards, codes and other specific guidance we use in our mahi.

He Pikorua brings together best practice in a living, up-to-date and dynamic way. It will be updated to enable our practice to remain current and relevant.

E kore e taea e te whenua Kotahi

Ki te raranga I te whāriki

Kia mohio tātou ki a tatou

Mā te mahi tahi o ngā whenua mā te mahi tahi o ngā kairaranga

Ka oti tenei whāriki.

(This whakatauki and the English translation scroll up from the bottom of the page, there is no audio while this occurs)

He Pikorua is for all practitioners who work across learning support within our inclusive education system.

Practitioners include Ministry of Education Learning Support practitioners, Resource Teachers: Learning and Behaviour (RTLB) and their managers, and those in practice support roles. This guidance allows us to work together using our combined knowledge, experience, skills and professional expertise.

Supporting information:

For educators
Accessing learning support

Actively expressing Te Tiriti o Waitangi


Whānau, hapū and iwi have a constitutional interest in the effectiveness of the Ministry's work for and with Māori students – who are their taonga, their treasured possessions. Whānau, hapū and iwi are both New Zealand citizens (Article III of Te Tiriti) and descendants of their iwi (Article II). Whānau, hapū and iwi, jointly with the Crown are responsible for making sure that māori enjoy and achieve success in education as Māori. (The Ministry and other state education agencies represent the Crown.) 

To raise achievement for and with Māori, we actively express the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi as we perform our daily professional duties. We constantly consider the identity, language and culture of Māori mokopuna. in our every decision we aim to make a positive difference, for and with Māori students. We will all be well-informed, innovative and resolute as we consider Te Tiriti o Waitangi in all interactions and practice.



Practice follows the principles in the three articles of Te Tiriti:


partnership (Article I)
  • by working effectively with iwi and other Māori providers involved with a student
protection (Article II)
  • by valuing children as tāonga
participation (Article III)
  • by making sure whānau and families have the opportunity to participate in the process. 

(Adapted from the Ministry of Education and RTLB's statements on the Treaty of Waitangi)



E kore e taea e te whenu kotahi
Ki te raranga i te whāriki
Kia mohio tātou ki a tātou
Mā te mahi tahi o ngā whenu mā te mahi tahi o ngā kairaranga
Ka oti tenei whāriki.

The tapestry of understanding cannot be woven by one strand alone. Only by the working together of the strands and the weavers will such a tapestry be completed.

Students sitting at table reading with teacher

What terms mean in He Pikorua

We use the following terms throughout He Pikorua. This is what they mean:

Education setting

includes early learning services, schools, and Māori medium kura.

Early learning services

includes early learning settings and Ngā Kōhanga Reo.


used for teacher or kaiako, across all learning settings.

Māori medium kura

includes Kura Kaupapa Māori, Wharekura, Ngā Kura a Iwi, Kura Reo Rua, and Rūmaki Reo.


includes children and young people (below we explain our use of ‘mokopuna’).


includes RTLB and Ministry Learning Support staff,  who each bring their specialist knowledge, skills, and expertise.


includes all those who provide support or services for mokopuna, their whānau and educators.

Te Tūāpapa o He Pikorua

Te Tūāpapa positions learning supports as part of day-to-day teaching and learning, across the layers of Te Matua (universal), Te Kāhui (targeted) and Te Arotahi (tailored).


includes parents, families, caregivers and whānau, and acknowledges that each whānau is unique and different.

Why we chose 'mokopuna'

Mokopuna refers to the flow of new generations through connection to those who have gone before.

Mokopuna carry the line of descent continuously from ancestor to ancestor down to the present. Our connection to our Tipuna (ancestors) and genealogy is our inherent birth-right. These connections are not exclusive to Māori and include all people.

Our decision to use 'mokopuna' throughout He Pikorua arises from our commitment to making the child central to everything we do, within the context of their whānau.

‘moko’ (kauae)

an innate and direct connection to tipuna through whakapapa.


the flowing spring and refers to new life (birth).