Team Lead (Cultural Capability and Leadership), Accredited Facilitator

Region: Wellington
Kathe Tawhiwhirangi FS


Diploma of Teaching (Primary) – Wellington Teachers' College

Professional profile

Since 2012, Kathe has worked for Tātai Aho Rau Core Education in the Professional Learning Development space. Kathe is a Regional PLD Manager and alongside her team, covers the Central North Island area. Kathe is a well regarded facilitator in both English medium and Māori medium settings. Her experience in leadership and quality facilitation has inspired new ways of working and teaching. She is passionate about raising student achievement and shifts deficit theorising into strategic future-focused, action-based pathways.

Kathe’s career has been focused on improving learning outcomes for all students and empowering, strengthening and building the capacity of all teachers. Kathe develops and models collaborative and inclusive protocols while being cognisant of supporting culturally responsive practice.

Prior to working for Tātai Aho Rau, Kathe was one of two deputy principals at Te Ara Whānui Kura Kaupapa Māori o ngā Kohanga Reo o Te Awakairangi, in Lower Hutt – a newly built kura. Her portfolios were performance management, curriculum design, sport and physical education, and elearning.

In 1997, the kura was a start-up educative space and work was needed to devise collaborative, inclusive and transparent ways for the team to navigate into a new way of being. Between 2004–2006, the three kura in Wellington clustered together on an information and communication technology (ICT) PD contract and Kathe’s role changed to include being the ICT PD facilitator for the cluster. From 2007–2011 Kathe became .5 DP and .5 national ICT PD facilitator working for CORE Education. In 2012, Kathe joined CORE full time.


Kathe has specialist expertise, in-depth knowledge of relevant education pedagogy and hands on facilitation experience in the following areas:

Culturally responsive practice

Successfully supporting learning communities and clusters to:

  • unpack the cultural competencies in Tataiako to ensure shared and common understandings for all
  • craft a purposeful, relevant and useful culturally responsive framework for all stakeholders
  • audit / self review against their framework
  • co-construct a culturally responsive plan to take them forward.
Change leadership

Successfully supporting learning communities and clusters to:

  • implement leadership of change within school communities
  • connect school charters and strategic goals to ensure a deliberate alignment with key foci of the identified PLD
  • evaluate pedagogy and practices to ensure they reflect future-focused education and responsive practices
  • use qualitative and quantitative data to inform and critically analyse practice
  • maintain a focus on outcomes.
Digital fluency

Successfully supporting learning communities and clusters to:

  • use the elearning Planning frameworks (English and Maori medium) to self-review elearning practices and capabilities to identify and target areas for improvement
  • increase student engagement and achievement through the use of digital technologies
  • develop digital capabilities of teachers suited to the needs of future-focused teaching practices.
Evaluative capability

Successfully supported learning communities and clusters to:

  • collect and analyse qualitative and quantitative data about students from multiple sources
  • scaffold understanding and implementation around professional inquiry for on-going reflection and review of teaching and learning practices
  • use frameworks (eLPF/MMeLPF) to guide strategic direction and develop ecapabilities.

Conference presentations

2015 Māori Achieving Success as Māori, Learning@School Roadshow, Palmerston North
2014 Learning with Digital technologies, Learning@School Roadshow, Palmerston North

Personal statement

It is a privilege walking alongside the schools and educationalists that are responsible for our tamariki in their learning spaces. Acknowledging that everyone has a different entry point regarding their learning and creating safe, supported and fun environments is something that I believe is essential for transformation and progress. Whanaungatanga at its best, ensures a trusting and warm space to progress current positioning. Supporting schools' visions, graduate profiles and raising student outcomes, is exciting work.