Simon Walker & Ashley Pihema: Establishing, Developing, and Implementing Mātauranga Māori at Diocesan School for Girls

Ashley Pihema

Ashley Pihema is of Ngāti Kahu, Ngāti Whātua, Ngāpuhi, Kai Tahu and Ngāti Pākeha descent. She is the Head of Faculty for Te Whare Huia, Māori Studies at Diocesan School for Girls. Her academic background is in the Arts Social Sciences, majoring in Māori Studies and Criminology. Ashley has been working with the team at Diocesan to build the Mātauranga Māori strategy for the school community. She is committed to the development of cultural competency and creating learning opportunities that foster socially progressive outcomes

Simon Walker

Simon Walker (Whakatōhea, Ngāti Porou) has worked in some of New Zealand’s leading independent schools for 20 years. Over that time, he has been at the fore of educational change and brings a wealth of experience in the introduction of new curricula into schools. With a background in environmental sciences, he has a keen interest in developing and promoting a curriculum that is fit for future needs, and one that builds the capabilities to meet the challenges of tomorrow. Simon is currently the Deputy Principal at Diocesan School for Girls, Auckland.

Establishing, Developing, and Implementing Mātauranga Māori at Diocesan School for Girls

The school’s commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi has been part of our strategic direction and deep desire to prepare our students with a comprehensive bicultural understanding of our country. We also wanted our students to understand the connection between Māori tikanga along with the wisdom and knowledge that is part of understanding and caring for the land, our place, people, and resources. This programme was developed in consultation with our mana whenua – Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei who have gifted us the knowledge of our place. It is a compulsory component of our curriculum from years 1-10 and will continue through newly developed NCEA standards.


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