About Us

Our History

kiaatamai.logoKia Ata Mai Educational Trust (Kia Ata Mai) was established by Deed of Trust on 30 June 1994 and was incorporated as a Charitable Trust on 24 July of the same year.

Kia Ata Mai was formed by practising teachers and school leaders with a desire to positively contribute to high quality literacy programmes for Kura Kaupapa and Māori medium schools. We passionately believe that all students should be entitled to the best learning opportunities possible. The majority of founding Trustees are still active in Kia Ata Mai, at either the governance or operations levels servicing the Māori-medium educational sector.


Specific objectives identified at the time of the establishment of Kia Ata Mai included:

  1. To develop and promote Māori literacy programmes for readers in Kura Kaupapa and Māori medium schools that will expand their learning opportunities.
  2. To promote, support and assist with the publication of appropriate quality and classroom tested resources in Māori for readers in Kura Kaupapa and Māori medium schools.
  3. To support initiatives that will maintain the quality of the Māori language, training and professional development of teachers in Kura Kaupapa schools and support for kaupapa Māori initiatives.

At Kia Ata Mai, we have broadened this to extend to:

  1. Deliver training and professional development to teachers in schools/kura
  2.  Support kaupapa Māori initiatives

Our Experience

Funding from the Waikato Education Foundation enabled Kia Ata Mai Educational Trust to develop and publish He Mātai Mātātupu in 1998 –  the official Māori version of Marie Clay’s diagnostic tool – An Observation Survey of Early Literacy Achievement (6 year net).  The opportunity to work with a world-renowned literacy expert like Marie Clay provided the impetus to specialise in literacy for Māori-medium settings.

Our focus on literacy-related activities and projects is extensive and includes:

  • The publication of 50 titles in Māori for students to assist them to learn to read 
  • The publication of 6 resources to support the teaching of literacy and language
  • The publication of 5 literacy/language assessment tools including Aromatawai-Urunga-ā-Kura (School Entry Assessment), Pānui Haere (Running Records), He Mātai Mātātupu (Reading and Writing), Hopukina (Oral Language), and Ngā Taumata Tuhituhi (Writing exemplars).

Kia Ata Mai has also been involved in numerous major national literacy related initiatives including the development and/or delivery of:

  • Ngā Kete Kōrero Framework which organised reading material in Māori into instructional levels (1995)
  • Te Reo Matatini (Māori-medium Literacy) Strategy for the Ministry of Education (2007)
  • Te Reo Māori learning area of Te Marautanga o Aotearoa (2008)
  • Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori (2010)
  • Ngā Taumatua, a Māori medium literacy specialist post graduate programme with 84 graduates over a period of seven years (2003 – 2009)
  • Rukuhia Rārangahia – Ministry of Education Position Paper on Assessment (2014) 
  • Overall Teacher Judgment National Workshops for Māori medium (2015)  

The current governance and management personnel of Kia Ata Mai includes Trustees and staff with extensive professional experience in operating schools and corporate experience in Iwi post settlement entities, Iwi asset holding companies and Māori Trust Incorporations.

Kia Ata Mai has strategically recruited qualified teachers, school leaders and school governors to deliver professional development services to the compulsory education sector. Staff have experience in both english, and Māori-medium settings.

Our Business Activities

The main activity at Kia Ata Mai is the provision of Māori-medium educational services.

We are currently contracted by the Ministry of Education to deliver professional development support to schools/kura in Te Reo Matatini (literacy), Assessment, Pūtaiao (science), Tumuaki (principals) and Management, Te Reo o te Kaiako (Māori language proficiency for teachers) and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa (the Māori-medium national curriculum).

Kia Ata Mai Educational Trust in association with Ngā Kura ā Iwi o Aotearoa, are also developing and implementing Mauri Oho, Mauri Tau, an online learning programme for students who are not meeting national achievement expectations as identified by Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori.

Our intention is to continue to grow and nurture our extensive educational network of schools/kura and education providers to support Māori medium education from early childhood (i.e. kōhanga reo) to tertiary while also extending our reach globally.