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rapunga whakaaro  philosophy 

We imagine the Learning Environment as ki uta ki tai:

a whole landscape system, from mountains to sea.

te maunga  the mountains

Ehara taku maunga e te maunga nekeneke. He maunga tu tonu

My mountain is not a mountain that moves around.

It is a mountain that stands still.


Te Maunga [The Mountain] is the place people come from and return to. It represents their culture, family, community, and experiences. Like water, people travel down the mountain and are returned to its heights as rain.


Te Maunga is where they will return after their time at the Learning Environment with the skills and knowledge to support the wellbeing of their communities.

te wai  the water

Ki te kore te iwi, e kore koe i kiia - he tangata

Without the people, you are diminished, you are nobody

Te Wai [The Water] is the people who interact with the Learning Environment. They arrive from the mountains of their own experiences and flow through the landscape, guided by their own process of learning.


As they flow, they mix with other people, converging in a shared future; more resilient and united. Like water they transpire, returning to their own communities, showering their gifts and offering new perspectives and skills for growth, continuing the cycle.

te whenua  the Earth

Te toto o te tangata, he kai; te oranga o te tangata, he whenua 

While food provides the blood in our veins,

our health is drawn from the land

We appreciate that for anything to grow well, the soil must be rich and healthy. We see this soil as our organisational culture and systems, which everything grows from.


Te Whenua [The Earth] is the culture of the Learning Environment: the values, internal systems and active processes that provide the foundation for the healthy growth of the ecosystem.

te ngahere  the forest

Mā te huruhuru ka rere te manu

Adorn this bird with feathers to enable it to fly

Te Ngahere [The Forest] is the physical infrastructure (the buildings, the natural spaces) and the non-physical infrastructure (the learning experiences, the businesses and the organisation as a whole). These are the spaces experienced by learners and organisational members.


Each Tree in The Forest nurtures a distinct area of focus through communication and resources. Each Tree has a number of Branches, these are the working groups that turn energy into action.

he awa whiria  braided rivers

Naku te rourou nau te rourou ka ora ai te iwi

With your basket and my basket the people will prosper

He Awa Whiria [Braided Rivers] are where Te Wai [The Waters] meet and mix with each other. People come together and their different perspectives braid, compliment and confront each other.


The places of braiding are learning places. When we show up with humility to sit with and listen to all that comes from diversity, we allow for shifts in perspective and the growth of wisdom.

te moana  the ocean

 Mehemea ka moemoeā ahau, ko ahau anake

Mehemea ka moemoeā tātou, ka taea e tātou

If I dream alone, only I benefit, if we all dream together,

we can succeed together

Te Moana [The Ocean] is the big picture: the wider social and environmental systems that change in response to people's newfound skills and understanding.

We seek to cultivate rich upstream conditions at the Learning Environment (in The Forest) that flow on to support resilient relationships between people and communities.

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