About Us

Our school is situated within the Hoani Waititi Marae complex. At the centre of our complex is the wharenui (meeting house), Ngā Tūmanako. Ours is a bustling and active urban marae that serves the greater Māori community in West Auckland. We also have two kōhanga reo (Māori immersion early childcare centres) and housing units for our kaumātua and kuia (elders).

The primary language of our marae community is te reo Māori. At the moment, many of the children who attend our school are children of past students. Before long we will be moving into our third generation attending our school. We are also increasingly attracting past students into teaching positions within our school.

We have well-established, national level kapa haka (Māori performing arts groups) Te Rōpū Manutaki and Ngā Tūmanako in our school community. We also have affiliations with other well-established groups such as Te Waka Huia, Te Manu Huia and Te Rautahi.

All of these expressions of our school community are proof of the vitality of our school and marae. Our tight-knit community is committed to the wellbeing of our people who are set to flourish for the 21st century.


Our History

Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Hoani Waititi Marae was the first school of its kind in Aotearoa, New Zealand. The kura has been in operation since 1985, however, it was formally recognised under legislation introduced in 1989 which made way for a total immersion, Māori language schooling option for primary-aged children. Prior to being recognised by the State in legislation, these schools were funded by the families of the children who attended these kura. They were motivated by their hope for another educational pathway for their children that valued and reflected their language and culture.

In 1993 a secondary school unit was added at Waititi and other KKM of similar age and experience. The Ministry of Education classes us as a Composite School or Area School, which allows us to cater for children from 5 years of age to 18 (Year 1 to Year 13). In 2016, Waititi had 170 students; 85 in the primary sector, 51 in the middle-school years, and 34 senior high school students. We employ 17 teaching staff and 3 support staff. Nationally, there are 66 KKM Aho Matua catering for more than 8,000 students, which makes up approximately 10% of the country’s school age population.


Our Philosophy

Kura Kaupapa Māori (KKM), draw their name from the notion of schools whose philosophy, school systems, language and ways of doing and being, stem from a Māori worldview (kaupapa Māori). KKM were born from a desire to retain, rejuvenate and develop the Māori language and culture, which were (and remain) under serious threat of survival. They were also established to continue on from the Māori language pre-school option, Kōhanga Reo (literally – Language Nests).

The marautanga (curriculum or knowledge base) of KKM comes from te ao Māori (the Māori world). The kura recognises the need to ensure students are prepared as 21st century learners and citizens. The philosophical document of KKM is Te Aho Matua (The Strongest Thread), which supports the holistic education of the person. It emphasises that for deep and meaningful education to happen, the person’s wairua (spirit) and mauri (life force or essence) must not only be intact, but flourishing.

  • Humanity
  • Language
  • Community
  • The World
  • Pedagogy
  • The Overarching Values

Board of Trustees Structure

The role of the Board of Trustees at Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Hoani Waititi Marae is to mirror the hopes, dreams and aspirations of the school community and wider Māori society.

Nurturing Māori children who are strong in their ancestral language and culture, and who embody the values of Te Aho Matua to become leaders for their people is the ultimate goal that the Board strives towards.

The Board is made up of whānau members, a staff representative, the Principal and a student representative from the Wharekura (secondary school). The direction of the school alongside the policies, budgets, plans and other important decisions is the responsibility of the Board of Trustees. However, the day-to-day operation of the school falls under the responsibility of the Principal and the Kāhui Amorangi (Senior Leadership Team).

Board members can be contacted through the school office.

Our Principal

A message from our principal

Rawiri Wright

Let us determine our own destiny! The wellbeing of the Māori language and the Māori way of life is in our hands. Let us become the architects and engineers of our own future - in perpetuity!

Kura Kaupapa Māori proudly uses the Māori language as its medium of instruction. We believe in the words of the great philosopher and leader, Sir James Henare, who said: the Māori language is the essence of Māori self-determination. Therefore, if Māori do not revitalise and speak our own language then who will?

Te Aho Matua- our guiding philosophy provides us with a blueprint. Not only does it work to revitalise our language but also to integrate the spiritual elements that are so central to our culture.

Kura Kaupapa Māori is definitely not just for Māori. Families who embody the values of Te Aho Matua are encouraged to become part of our whānau. Humility, compassion, openness to learning, and a willingness to serve & share attributes and skills for the benefit of everyone are most valuable for our school.

Kura Kaupapa Māori aho matua is an exercise in excellence of intellect, heart, soul, language, community, society, being Māori and in humanity. Come with us!

Our Staff

Our teachers are passionate, competent and energetic about the subjects they teach.

Currently, every teacher is fluent in te reo Māori. The holistic wellbeing of each child is at the very centre of teaching and learning.

Our teachers collaborate to develop learning experiences that challenge, extend and motivate learners through te reo and tikanga Māori.

They work to create a nurturing and secure learning environment where every child feels uniquely celebrated, loved and cared for.

All of our teachers use the philosophy and curriculum of Te Aho Matua as the cornerstone of their practice.

A full list of staff is available from the office.

Senior Management

Beverly Manahi

Whāea Bev

Te Kurataiaho Kapea

Papa Te Kura

Peata Leef

Whāea Peata

Ne'kol Hura

Whāea Ne'kol

Joni Gordon

Whāea Joni

Griffa Rivers

Whāea Griffa

Tamatamārangi Clausen

Papa Tama

Paulline Tahuri

Whāea Pauline

Casey Armitt

Whāea Casey

Jani Hohua-Hayward

Whāea Jani

Rēhia Hānara

Whāea Rēhia