Te Whānau o Tupuranga has a 20 year history as the Māori bilingual unit at Clover Park Middle School. In 2006 it opened as a new Year 7 to 13 (Form 1 to 7) school in its own right.

In 2011, although now merged into Kia Aroha College, Te Whānau o Tupuranga retains its unique identity and name as the Centre for Māori Education on the campus. This continues to be an exciting development for Otara. State of the art, purpose built facilities were opened in 2009.
Te Whānau o Tupuranga is not a Kura Kaupapa Māori. Its special character is whānau-based, Māori-centred education with a strong emphasis on relationships and excellence. Both Māori and English are used in the learning programme.

Special Character


Based on philosophy of Whānaungatanga

The philosophy of the school is based in tikanga Māori.


The programme utilises the facilities of the Clover Park Middle School and Te Whānau o Tupuranga marae, Kia Aroha, as an authentic context for Māori learning. Through the functions of the marae students learn and practise, whakawhānaungatanga, manakitanga, tikanga, kaimahi mo te iwi, kotahitanga.

Bilingual Māori/English

Both te reo Māori and English are used throughout the programme. This has been the Māori community’s expectation throughout the history of the bilingual whānau. Research shows that bilingual students:

  • are more positive in outlook
  • have a greater chance of academic success in the future
  • are more confident in their own culture
  • have a deeper understanding of our multicultural society
  • are better qualified than monolingual students for a wider range of careers in the future

We are not a Kura Kaupapa Māori and do not offer total immersion in Te Reo Māori. Students do not need to have learned Māori before they come into Te Whānau o Tupuranga. However they are immersed in a Māori learning environment where they learn about whānaungatanga and tikanga.

Whānau Grouping (Years 7-9, Years 10/11 & Years 12/13)

Students learn in three basic whānau grouped organisations – Years 7 to 9, Years 10 and 11 and Years 12 and 13. This is in keeping with the principle of whānaungatanga and allows for a closer match with home whānau practice where tuakana/teina relationships work to support each other.

Integrated Holistic Curriculum

The principle of ako guides curriculum delivery – reciprocal, non-hierarchical learning and teaching. The approach of Curriculum Integration ensures that students are involved in selection and negotiation of issues for learning and inquiry. These contexts are in keeping with the National Curriculum Framework but also explore Māori concepts, tikanga, language and historical and contemporary Māori issues.

Middle School programme (Years 7-9)

Years 7 to 9 follow a middle school philosophy that is based in the developmental needs of this age group and is in keeping philosophically with Māori parents’ expectations. These include the need to develop a positive identity, to relate to a significant adult, for physical and intellectual challenge, a safe learning environment, strong pastoral care programmes and flexible organisation. The purpose of this supportive philosophy is to minimise the potential for school dropout and alienation from whānau during this time of emotional, physical and social change.

Whānau / School Partnership

The aim is for reciprocal relationships that benefit community, school and Māori learners in a learning community. The school marae is the ideal venue for this interaction.