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Source: Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology

Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology Head of Māori Success Kelly-Anne Panapa is set to embark on a new role that will shape learner outcomes for all tertiary institutes across New Zealand. 

Kelly will be joining Te Pūkenga, of which Toi Ohomai is a subsidiary of, as Ākonga at the Centre (Te Tiriti) Co-Lead for the Learner Journey Workstream. 

The workstream is particularly interested in understanding how the system will meet the needs of learners who are currently underserved by our sector.

This work will be a continuation of the research the team did in the last 12 weeks of 2020, gathering more than 7000 individual pieces of data from learners, trainees, whānau, and staff from ITP’s and ITO’s across the country.

“We’ve captured an immense amount of learner and staff voices. The analysis has been an enormous undertaking. We’ve taken a very deep and considered approach to the data and are proud of the critical bicultural approach we’ve developed to satisfy the Minister’s expectations of Tiriti Excellence in the way we deliver,” Kelly says. 

“We’re still deep in the data, but have already developed 50 opportunity statements so far. Roughly half of those statements are coming from the voices of Māori learners and Māori staff specifically, so the outcomes of this piece of work will be very much focused on enabling Māori voice to have equal say to inform positive outcomes for all ākonga.”

Kelly adds immense value to the team, with a rich background in bicultural/Tiriti-led policy and process development, bicultural system reform, equity and Māori Success. She lends a unique lens of knowledge and understanding through which to figure out how upholding Tiriti obligations can open the gates for all learners to succeed in tertiary education. 

“I’m excited to contribute to this piece of work, which is very much focused on “the ākonga and their whānau, at the centre”, their journey and experience, Tiriti excellence and ensuring equitable outcomes for all learners”.  

This research and development work is the first of its kind to be undertaken by a tertiary organisation, and Kelly says she is proud to represent Toi Ohomai in this capacity.

“From the short time I’ve spent in Te Pūkenga, it’s encouraging to see that they’re really looking to the sector for leadership in areas they are strong in. Toi Ohomai has demonstrated leadership by making bold commitments around empowering communities and our people and by activating mana ōrite Tiriti relationships. 

“It’s also our ongoing commitment to continue to improve and operationalise Tiriti excellence that is drawing attention too. The work sometimes feels a bit like the Toi Ohomai Māori Success Strategy on steroids,” says Kelly. 

Aside from preparing all the insights from the research to go into the co-design process for Te Pūkenga’s future operating model, another key priority for the workstream in 2021 is establishing learner voice and learner partnership mechanisms for Te Pūkenga. This is something Kelly is particularly passionate about and she says she’s looking forward to understanding how this could work in a national vocational educational context.