Child and youth voice research findings

Manaakitia ngā tamariki kia ora ai: Supporting children’s wellbeing

AUTHOR: New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER)

This study, involving six best-practice primary and intermediate schools, aimed to deepen understandings about the different ways schools promote the wellbeing of tamariki, and, in particular, Māori students. It mainly focused on how school actions foster students’ sense of belonging and identity.

As part of the study, tamariki were asked what wellbeing at school look like from their perspective.  Tamariki talked about eight multilayered dimensions that supported their wellbeing at school, including:

  • Whanaungatanga (We have good relationships) was foundational and talked about at all schools.
  • Wairuatanga (We feel happy and safe) was also key.
  • Tuakiritanga (My identity is valued) and Māoritanga (My culture is valued) were also main themes mentioned by tamariki, suggesting that actively promoting the language, culture, and identity of tamariki at school was promoting wellbeing and tamariki success “as Māori”. 
  • Less frequently mentioned, but common dimensions important to tamariki, included:
    • Tuākanatanga (We can take a lead role)
    • Taiao (We like the envionment)
    • Āheitanga (We have lots of opportunities)
    • Whakanui (We celebrate and have fun)

The report also captures insights from, school leaders, teachers and whānau 

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