*Kia ora koutou katoa

Issue: Volume 102, Number 16

Posted: 7 December 2023
Reference #: 1HAeLp

Welcome to the final Education Gazette for 2023.

Iona Holsted  Te Tumu Whakarae mō te Mātauranga | Secretary for Education

Iona Holsted Te Tumu Whakarae mō te Mātauranga | Secretary for Education

Every year is a big year in education. Thank you for the efforts and commitment that you have put in this year to get ākonga/learners present, participating and progressing in their learning.

The end of the year is a good time for some reflection, so I encourage you to take a look back at some of the stories we featured in the Gazette this year, and also think about your own highlights and successes from 2023.


The start of the school year saw severe weather events that threatened to significantly disrupt learning, with the Auckland Anniversary Weekend floods followed quickly and devastatingly by Cyclone Gabrielle.

Education leaders, teachers and communities in the affected areas quickly sprang into action to respond and support students to get back to their learning as soon as possible – banding together to clear trees, mud and debris; working with Te Mahau and others to get generators set up and distribute learning packs; and going more than ‘the extra mile’ by boat, tractor and the occasional helicopter. You can read many of these stories in Issue 3: ‘Courage, capability and resilience’ or more recently, in the article ‘Tū Kaha, how Coromandel schools build resilience and weather storms’.


Getting students present is the first step but getting them actively engaging and participating in learning is what makes the difference. That means providing an engaging local curriculum underpinned by educationally powerful relationships with learners and their whānau.

We’ve seen what this looks like in practice in ‘Learning to stand strong in the community’, an early learning centre delivering a local curriculum that is enriched by te ao Māori and te taiao, with strong community relationships. In ‘Māori Deaf students build digital version of marae to empower community,’ we saw a beautiful example of growing a passion for STEM through learning that attends to identity, language and culture.


When students are present and participating, they can make progress and succeed in their learning. In ‘Igniting a passion for writing through creative arts,’ Year 5 and 6 students achieved amazing gains in writing after a taniwha art project inspired them to write their own stories. In ‘Student-led mahi turns bike-trail dream into reality,’ tamariki transformed school land into a mountain-bike trail, with deliberate links between the project and classroom lessons helping to accelerate their learning across the curriculum. As one of the students said, “You realise anything is possible if you work hard enough and persevere when it is tough.”

Thank you again for your mahi this year. I hope you enjoy a safe and restful break with friends and whānau over the summer.

Ngā mihi nui

Iona Holsted
Te Tumu Whakarae mō te Mātauranga | Secretary for Education

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero, reporter@edgazette.govt.nz

Posted: 8:01 am, 7 December 2023

Get new listings like these in your email
Set up email alerts