Building Cultural Capability


Building Cultural Capability is a face-to-face workshop series designed to help create a school environment where learners from all cultures and diversities can thrive.

About Building Cultural Capability

Cultural capability is about creating equity through implementing culturally responsive practices that support all learners to live by their cultural heritage and identity. This 3-day course is about providing pragmatic ways to put this into practice across all levels of a school, and to assess how effectively it is being embedded.

It does this by focusing on Te Tiriti o Waitangi (the Treaty) and Māori cultural capability frameworks as the platform for developing culturally capable teachers and Kaiako. The course is designed to be practical, challenging, supportive and encouraging of attendees own learning journeys in this area.

Building Cultural Capability covers three modules. Each module leaves attendees with practical ways to apply their learning back at their school between each workshop.

Course Purpose

When you create an environment where Māori learners achieve education success as Māori, you have created an environment where learners from all cultures and diversities can thrive.

That’s because culturally capable teachers:

  • Know who learners are, where they are from and who they belong to,
  • Have respectful relationships with the learner, their whanau and community,
  • Demonstrate genuine respect for learners’ culture and identity and provide learning contexts that affirm this, and
  • Are committed to achieving learning outcomes for both themselves and all their students.

The purpose of this course is to support teachers and school leaders on their journey of cultural capability, no matter where they are on it, and leave them with practical and culturally appropriate ways to apply what they have learnt immediately back in the school and classroom. This course supports meeting obligations in the New Zealand Teaching Standards to demonstrate commitment to tangata whenuatanga and Te Tiriti o Waitangi partnership in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Who Should Attend

Anyone who works within the education sector or teaches in a New Zealand classroom can benefit from this course irrespective of the number of Māori learners, learners from different cultures, or learners with diverse identities at a school.

The most important criteria for attendance are an open mind, a willingness to learn, and to be prepared to challenge what may be long held beliefs.

Module One: Practical Application of Te Tiriti

We all know the importance of reflecting the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi in the classroom, but what exactly does this mean and how do we know if we’re getting it right?

Learning outcomes
  • Gain an awareness and a deeper understanding of a historical view of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
  • Develop ways to practically apply the treaty within your learning context

Module Two: Building Cultural Capability

Most teachers demonstrate aspects of cultural competency in their relationships with learners and their learning community. How do we know if this is enough to support Māori learners? Where are the gaps and what practical steps can we take to fill them? How do we apply this to all learners?

Learning outcomes
  • Gain a practical understanding of the five competencies and values that need to be present when engaging Māori learners
  • Define what success as Māori looks like in your setting
  • Develop a self-review tool to determine the gaps and focus areas for your context

Module Three: Applying and Assessing Cultural Capability

Cultural Competency is ultimately about achieving learner success within the context of a learners’ culture or diverse identity. How can this be practically applied and how do we know if we’re succeeding? How do we continue to build cultural capability and demonstrate its impact?

Learning outcomes
  • Understand and apply agentic thinking to cultural capability practices
  • Develop practical ways to relate and interact with Māori and other diverse learners on a daily basis
  • Explore ways to assess cultural capability and its contribution to student outcomes


$1295 + GST each (or 10% discount for 3 or more participants).


Kohia Centre, The University of Auckland, Faculty of Education and Social Work, 78 Epsom Avenue, Epsom, Auckland.


2022 dates to be confirmed.


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