Here is my understanding about Whānaungatanga from the #EdBookNZ collaborative co-constructed project for #CENZ15.


  • He aha te mea nui o te ao?
  • He tangata! He tangata! He tangata

Defining Whānaungatanga.

Whānaungatanga is the reciprocal rights, responsibilities and obligations that flow from the interrelationships of all living things through shared experiences and working together. Whānaungatanga provides people with a sense of belonging and also serves to strengthen each member of the kin group.

Tataiako explains Whānaungatanga as actively engaging in respectful working relationships with Māori learners, parents and whānau, hapū, iwi and the Māori community.

The PTC associated with Whānaungatanga.

The first Professional Criteria is about ethical, respectful, positive, and collaborative professional relationships.

Fully registered teachers establish and maintain effective professional relationships focused on the learning and well-being of all ākonga. (Ākonga is inclusive of all learners in the full range of settings.)

Key indicators:

    • Engage in ethical, respectful, positive, and collaborative professional relationships with:
      • ākonga/learners
      • teaching colleagues, support staff, and other professionals
      • whānau and other carers of ākonga/learners
  • agencies, groups, and individuals in the community.

How could we tell someone about Whānaungatanga?

Whānaungatanga is about treating others the way we want to be treated and to ensure that all voices in the learning community are heard. It is about everyone contributing.

What is an alternative explanation of Whānaungatanga?

There is no I in Team

  • Relationships and values
  • Respect for others.
  • Making connections
  • Collaborating
  • Co-Creating
  • Celebrating

What impact might Whānaungatanga have on our practice?

Teaching with respect. Respect for the learners, respect for our colleagues, respect for our parents, respect for the people we deal with in regards to our learners.

Acknowledging everyone has a voice and a part to play.

What are the positives of Whānaungatanga?

A respectful working environment.Everyone being a team member and contributing to the whole.

What are the challenges of Whānaungatanga?

Learning how to approach different communities within our school respectfully and appropriately.

Learning about the differing backgrounds where our children come from and even how they learn could be different to preconceived ideas of learning. Celebrating and planning for celebrations needs to be seriously considered in an overcrowded curriculum. Ideas of learning and celebrating are to be part of what we do.

What are we still wondering about Whānaungatanga?

We wonder

  • if Whānaungatanga is already happening in our schools.
  • if we can gather evidence about Whānaungatanga
  • if a school’s understanding about Whānaungatanga can have an effect of achievement

Whose voice is not being heard?

How do we ensure that as educators we have heard all the voices in our schools?

Can we hear the voices of our ancestors?

One statement that says it all

Whānaungatanga is the heart of learning with relationships, connections, contributing and belonging. In Samoan the word is Va Fealofani.

5 thoughts on “Whānaungatanga

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