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Ahakoa ko wai, ahakoa nōwhea kei kōnei koe

Mana Motuhake

Primary ITO works consciously to respond appropriately to the needs of the learner and the business using industry specialists, resources and networks.  Wherever possible we encourage the inclusion of local mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) shared by whānau to provide context and a sense of legacy. 

Te Ako Tiketike

Te Ako Tike Tike is a model created by Ako Aotearoa after research into what key characteristics are present for Māori learners to be successful in  workplace-based training.  Primary ITO uses this model to consider how we can help support our Māori learners to succeed.

Expectations are high yet realistic. Clear direction with a culturally supportive environment, easy to use resources and positive reinforcement to succeed. 

Personal commitment,

attitude & motivation

Individual readiness, motivation and success is dependent on the interplay of the 5 elements underpinned by the contribution, acknowledgement and investment of all involved. 


Whānau support & encouragement

Alignment with community networks, iwi, hapū, whānau is key. An invitation to participate.

Strong foundations for workplace learning

This is a key priority area for many learners particularly for Māori. Learning materials and support resources need to reflect different styles of learning, be responsive to learning gaps with flexible assessment models for success.


Culturally competent mentors/peers who can incorporate cultural understanding, practices and values is important.

Te Whakamahi Whenua

Today’s rangatahi are going to be tomorrow’s workforce. Building a workforce with a greater range of skills, experience and knowledge is essential and important not only for Māori, but also for New Zealand’s overall economic prosperity.

Te Whakamahi Whenua industry training is a programme that includes units that provide a Kaupapa Māori horticulture context. To enable Māori to reach their full potential by raising the skills and knowledge of the current workforce, we work to create effective pathways towards advanced trade qualifications at higher qualification levels.

Assessment and learning resources have been developed for the 6 Te Whakamahi Whenua standards included in the programme. The development of these resources included employing a Māori Horticulturalist as the Subject matter expert.

The aim of including Te Whakamahi Whenua standards in Primary Industry Skills for the horticulture team is to:

  • Increase Māori engagement in Primary industry training because of the contextualization and relevance of the standards.

  • Attract Māori, Māori School leavers, and second chance learners to the horticulture industry.

  • Be part of a vocational and educational pathway for learners that puts them on a path to higher level qualifications and better employment prospects.

  • Lifting skills attainment and hence providing trainees with greater opportunities to participate in more highly skilled jobs.

  • Provide graduates with employment opportunities

  • Provide learners with both transferable skills, and horticultural skills that can be used in an industry and/or community context e.g. community gardens and Marae gardens

  • Align with Primary ITO Strategic Plan to increase Māori engagement and success.

  • Appeal to a wider base of businesses and learners.  For Example, Māori Trusts, and community organisations.

Learner Support

Primary ITO have a range of tools to help our learners achieve. 
This includes support for dyslexia and other literacy and numeracy challenges. 

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Help you succeed
Literacy and Numeracy
Primary ITO has many services to help you achieve to your potential.

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Rural Youth & Adult Literacy Trust 
Free reading & writing lessons for isolated/rural
adults and teenagers.

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Best Practice Guidebook
Literacy and Numeracy
Designed to support the success of Primary ITO trainees by providing best practice guidance.

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Pathways Awarua
We provide a resource that is free, fun and available to any New Zealand adult who wants to improve their reading, writing or maths skills, for work and for life.

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Tuakana-teina - Māori Mentors

Mentors play an important role in the success of learners. Mentoring as a concept is closely linked to traditional whānau practices and is a helpful tool in workplace settings.  Tuakana-teina is a relationship concept that functions as a mentoring kind of relationship whereby someone with the skills and knowledge in a field is able to help support another person to grow and learn.

Mentors are generous people who offer a wealth of knowledge, skills and experience to share with trainees across all vocational pathways. For more information on our mentoring programme, click here