This ten year study explores what ‘success’ looks like for Māori and Pacific families.

Ngā Tau Tuangahuru is interested in what success looks like for Māori and Pacific children, young people and their families, as Māori and as Pacific people, and in what helps and hinders that success.

The study is about the lived experience, hopes and aspirations of Māori and Pacific children, young people and their families. It provides counter narratives to problem focused accounts of Māori and Pacific socioeconomic status, experience and achievement.

The study focus on Māori and Pacific success came out of two years of discussion with our study partners, along with Kaupapa Māori and Pacific research stressing the importance of strengths based inquiries based on lived experience.

Study findings and voices of families

‘Mā tātou anō tātou e korero’ - we speak for ourselves. See here for findings to date.

The study involves several rounds of face to face interviews with children, young people and families. Round One took place in 2017, with 69 whanau/families interviewed. Round One interviewed family members, including children and young people.

See here for a summary of findings from Round One.

See here English version, and here Te Reo version for a one page poster of ‘tips from families’ on how to support children and young people.

See here for some of our research team’s reflections on what they noticed from Round One.


Articles are in progress on specific Māori and Pacific findings from Round One.

Round Two interviews are occurring in late 2018 and 2019. Round Two involves interviewing the same families from Round One, plus separate interviews with the children and young people in those families

Our study partners

Our study partners are five visionary organisations who took part in the Māori and Pacific Education Initiative.

The children, young people and families participating in the study are drawn from these five organisations, who took part in Foundation North’s Māori and Pacific Education Initiative.

Rise UP Academy began in 2007 as a Saturday home school in Sita Selupe’s garage and in 2014 became a junior school in Otahuhu, South Auckland, for over 70 mainly Pacific students. See here for Rise Up’s story.

Te Kāpehu Whetu (the Māori Star Compass) provides Kaupapa Māori education from early childhood to high school, in Whangarei. The kaupapa of Te Kāpehu Whetu is to empower its students to: ‘Be Māori, be rangatira (leaders) and be educated, so that they can navigate their futures in a globalised society, standing confidently on the marae and in the world’.

Sylvia Park School in Mt Wellington, developed the Mutukaroa Programme which builds a home-school partnership, to engage families in their child’s learning. This programme was rolled out to 100 schools by the Ministry of Education and still operates in a range of schools.

The Manaiakalani Education Trust uses digital learning to improve children’s educational outcomes. Manaiakalani (the ‘hook from heaven’), involves a cluster of 13 schools in Tāmaki (east Auckland) and has a pedagogy of ‘learn, create, share’, which puts young people at the centre of their learning.

Oceania Careers Academy in Mangere, South Auckland is New Zealand’s first Pacific owned and led Private Training Establishment (PTE) for Trades. OCA aims to support more Pacific young people into higher paid employment. It teaches students in years 11-13 trade skills and connects them with employment and further education and training opportunities.

Ngā Tau Tuangahuru Team

Study Project Team - the project team works closely with study partners to design and implement the study.

Dr Fiona Cram - Māori Lead (Ngāti Pahauwera – Kahungunu) Katoa Ltd

Dr Tanya Samu - Pacific Lead (University of Auckland) 

Dr Reremoana Theodore - Longitudinal Advisor
(National Centre for Lifecourse Research, University of Otago)

Rachael Trotman - Study Coordinator (Centre for Social Impact)

Research Team - the research team members who interview the children, young people and their families taking part in the study were identified by and drawn from our five study partners.

  Jaycee Tipene-Thomas - Te Kāpehu Whetu Interviewer

  Tracey Sharp - Rise UP Trust Interviewer

  Monalisa Owen - Rise UP Trust Interviewer

  Darlene Cameron - Sylvia Park Interviewer

  Ana Manu - Sylvia Park Interviewer

  Bronwyn Hetaraka - Oceania Careers Academy Interviewer

  Yayleen Hubbard - Manaiakalani Interviewer


How the study works

Ngā Tau Tuangahuru is a family-centred study, based on face-to-face, in-depth interviews over ten years.


The same students and their families will be interviewed face to face up to four times over ten years, by our research team. While many of the questions asked will be consistent over the ten years, questions will be added and adapted over time to reflect what families, study partners and Foundation North wish to know.

See here for an article on the emergence and design of the study.