The tensions facing a board of trustee model within the cultural framework of kura kaupapa Maaori : a thesis presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Arts in Social Policy at Massey University, Albany, New Zealand
This study originated from personal experience, as a member of a Board of Trustee (BOT)
within Kura Kaupapa Maaori (KKM). The workload required for Kura compliance with
government regulation and legislation, was phenomenal. The BOT model seemed to be
structured on a corporate model of governance with accountability to the Ministry of
Education. This contradicted with the needs of Kura whaanau to be involved in Kura decisionmaking.
The BOT model unintentionally created a separation and tension between whaanau
and BOT members.
This research set out to explore the BOT model of governance within our Kura, from a cultural
perspective, rather, than researching problems identified by ERa. The research undertook a
review of the literature that placed the BOT model within the 1984 -1990 Economic Reforms.
It highlighted the impact of past government policies, and administration, on the Maaori
language and culture to illuminate the cultural, economic, political and social context of the
establishment of Kura Kaupapa Maaori and the doctrine of Te Aho Matua (TAM).
The BOT model, and KKM/TAM, are founded on differing values. The study was approached
from a Kaupapa Maaori perspective; not wishing to reaffirm the negative stigma of past
research undertaken of Maaori. The objectives of the study were to gain an understanding of
whaanau cultural capacity, perceptions and understanding of KKM and TAM; and also,
whaanau understanding of the BOT model. The research design consisted of a case study.
This involved a questionnaire to all whaanau; and in-depth discussions with a sample of twelve
whaanau. Appropriate ethical considerations were given to the process, which addressed both
academic and cultural needs.
Findings clearly identify the structure, and nature of the BOT model, being problematic within
the cultural framework of a KKM underpinned by Te Aho Matua. The values and principles
between the model and TAM fundamentally conflict. Findings also identify key factors, that
both government and Kura whaanau can utilise, in advancing whaanau governance.