Project Details

A project to develop a kaupapa Māori assessment model that demonstrates the link between literacy learning and wellbeing for Māori learners. A collaboration of Literacy Aotearoa and Te Wāhanga, New Zealand Council of Educational Research (NZCER).


Working within a Kaupapa Māori framework, this project seeks to:

  • identify effective literacy outcomes for Māori adult learners, and how they might be assessed
  • understand the notion of literacy-wellbeing outcomes among Māori adult learners and how their achievement might be measured
  • develop a Māori adult literacy-wellbeing framework which can be disseminated across the sector.


The project used qualitative techniques to gather data, which consisted of:

  • a series of small group interviews with Māori learners, tutors and managers
  • data analysis and wellbeing assessment model development
  • the first wānanga where the model was critiqued
  • redrafting the model and discussion with Māori adult literacy providers
  • the second wānanga involving both academics and Māori adult literacy providers to debate and reframe emerging potential models
  • a review hui conducted after the pilot programme to finalise the model based on the experiences of the providers.



Dr Jessica Hutchings

Project leader

New Zealand Council of Educational Research (NZCER)
literacy aotearoa

Toni Lee Hayward

Literacy Aotearoa
literacy aotearoa

Antony Philips

Literacy Aotearoa

Dr Helen Potter

New Zealand Council of Educational Research (NZCER)

Katrina Taupo

New Zealand Council of Educational Research (NZCER)
literacy aotearoa

Bronwyn Yates

Literacy Aotearoa




$135,104.00 (excl GST)

$135,104.00 National Project Fund

Key Findings

  • Māori assessment model has been developed that demonstrates the link between literacy learning and wellbeing for Māori learners. It addresses the need of Māori literacy providers for relevant and appropriate assessment models of wellbeing for Māori, and it complements the Literacy and Numeracy Assessment Tool for Adults.
  • The kaupapa Māori wellbeing assessment model, Hei Ara Ako ki te Oranga, involves a process that gathers information about the progress of the learner at different stages in the learner’s programme. The model comprises a set of questions for the learner that address their progress towards their goals. It also involves the learner and the tutor engaging in a conversation and may involve whānau members.

Key Recommendations

Availability to other literacy providers | While the Wellbeing Model is based on current Literacy Aotearoa practice, it is intended to be used and adapted by other literacy providers. The intention was not to create something that was static. A key aim has always been to provide a model that can be adapted to the needs and strengths of each learner.

Challenge to policy makers and decision makers | The challenge to policy makers and decision makers in Aotearoa is to find ways to legitimise and validate improved wellbeing for Māori alongside progress in reading, writing, speaking and listening in English.


Hei Ara Ako ki te Oranga: A model for measuring wellbeing outcomes from literacy programmes

This research report aims to develop a model for assessing the literacy skills and overall wellbeing of Māori adult learners. By establishing a connection between literacy education and improved personal development, employability, family support, and relationships, the report seeks to enhance the understanding of Māori adult learners' wellbeing outcomes.

  • 11 April 2013
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