Tū Māia – our strategy to lift achievement of Māori learners

Tū Māia – tō mātou rautaki whakahiki tutukitanga mā ngā ākonga Māori

Last updated 2 November 2016
Last updated 2 November 2016

We want to see Māori learners participating and achieving at all levels of tertiary education on par with other learners, and attaining the qualifications that enable them to participate and achieve at all levels of the workforce. 

Tū Māia e te Akonga (Tū Māia) is the name of our strategy to make this happen. The key outcomes we want to achieve for more Māori learners are:

  • achieving at least NCEA level 2 and University Entrance or its equivalent during their time at secondary school        
  • transitioning into higher levels of tertiary education and enrolling in qualifications that match their career aspirations and academic ability        
  • progressing from low levels to higher levels of education 
  • graduating with skills at higher levels       
  • gaining the skills and qualifications they need for sustainable, well-paid employment.

What is Tū Māia? 

Tū Māia has four key focus areas:

  • Collective Action on Pathways uses our investment in the sector to ensure Māori learners get the right support at the right time. 
  • The Kura to Career Pilot will strengthen regional tertiary provision and vocational pathways through to long-term careers by establishing a new approach to contracting for support services.
  • The Quality Educators Initiative will work with the sector to develop a ‘blueprint’ and action plan to embed elements of effective teaching practice into teacher education and professional development.
  • Strengthening our focus on Māori learners will bring together work within the TEC under the Tū Māia banner, to ensure our ‘business as usual’ contributes to Māori learner success. 

We’ll add more information to these as they progress.

Why is Tū Māia needed? 

Over the past 20 years there has been improvement in the educational attainment of Māori people. For example, the proportion of Māori people with a tertiary qualification has grown, older Māori are participating at higher rates than the rest of the population, and Māori course completion rates and qualification completion rates have improved. 

However, there are still some areas where we need the education system to support Māori learners to achieve on a par with their peers. The challenges for Māori learners can be summarised as:

transition – into tertiary education

retention – within compulsory and tertiary education

progression – from lower into higher levels

participation – at higher levels beyond level four

achievement – at all levels.


Data and research is essential for informing our strategy, and evaluating our success. Our Research about Māori learners page has a number of reports on the experiences of Māori learners.

Want to know more? 

Want to learn more about Tū Māia, or share what you are doing? There are a number of ways you can get in touch: