Ideas for hauora/well-being and connecting in these unpredictable times…



In this time of change, where the world around us has become unpredictable and our focus has changed significantly. What changes should we be making to learning for young people? Does this situation in 2020 with COVID-19 mean that we should be refocussing not only for now but into the future? Prioritising of what is most important for people will be happening, whether we as educators like it or not. Many of us with our own whānau at home, will be weighing this up for our own whānau, as well as thinking carefully about what it means for the ākonga in our Kura.

We need to be aware, not only of our own contexts, but of ākonga across the whole nation. Accessibility  is an issue for many ākonga and so the shift to online learning, will not work for all in the current climate.  How can equity of access be found? We do not know how long this situation will go for, it would appear the ripples will continue far and wide for quite some time. We need to be rethinking what is success in education now.

“Education today is about more than simply teaching students something. It’s also about helping them develop the tools they need to navigate an increasingly complex, volatile and uncertain world”. “…success in education to be about identity, agency and purpose. It’s about curiosity, compassion & the courage to put our cognitive, social and emotional resources into action”.Andreas Schleicher

With the current climate being more volatile than ever, it may be useful for people who have not yet done so to explore, or for those who have to explore deeper into the work of the OECD Learning Compass 2030. There is multiple resources and support to look through to think about what priorities for learning should be now and into the future.

Screen Shot 2020-03-29 at 3.49.35 PM

You can see in the above visual that the core foundations include literacy and numeracy, social and emotional, health, digital literacy and data literacy. Wellbeing is the main outcome for the learning compass. HPE is seen as an imperative part of this and you can read more here about


When thinking about the current situation in NZ and beyond, do we need to shift the focus to well-being? Do we need to refocus on hauora even more now than anytime before? Do we need to understand no more than ever the interrelationship between our dimensions of Hauora. See a deeper description of hauora below….

Well-being, hauora
The concept of well-being encompasses the physical, mental and emotional, social, and spiritual dimensions of health. This concept is recognised by the World Health Organisation.
Hauora is a Māori philosophy of health unique to New Zealand. It comprises taha tinana, taha hinengaro, taha whanau, and taha wairua.
Taha tinana – Physical well-being
the physical body, its growth, development, and ability to move, and ways of caring for it
Taha hinengaro – Mental and emotional well-being
coherent thinking processes, acknowledging and expressing thoughts and feelings and responding constructively
Taha whanau – Social well-being
family relationships, friendships, and other interpersonal relationships; feelings of belonging, compassion, and caring; and social support
Taha wairua – Spiritual well-being
the values and beliefs that determine the way people live, the search for meaning and purpose in life, and personal identity and self-awareness (For some individuals and communities, spiritual well- being is linked to a particular religion; for others, it is not.)
Each of these four dimensions of hauora influences and supports the others.

Dr Mason Durie’s whare tapawha model compares hauora to the four walls of a whare, each wall representing a different dimension: taha wairua (the spiritual side); taha hinengaro (thoughts and feelings); taha tinana (the physical side); and taha whanau (family). All four dimensions are necessary for strength and symmetry. (Adapted from Mason Durie’s Whaiora: Māori Health Development. Auckland: Oxford University Press, 1994, page 70). (please note, other models of Hauora have been designed. For example, in 1997, Moeau suggested that a fifth dimension, whenua (connection with the land), be added to the original model. In 2001, Hokowhitu also tried to have whenua added to the Tapawha model but again it was not added.

I would like to ask you a few questions to ponder…

  • What is most important to you right now?
  • What are your top five priorities?
  • What are you are concerns about for your whānau at the moment?
  • What does your daily structure look like in your house?
  • Do you have essential workers in your household? If yes what is your concern for them?
  • If you have children, what are your priorities for them at the moment?
  • What does work look like for you at the moment?
  • Can you put food on the table?
  • Can you pay your bills?
  • Do you have concerns over mortgage or rent?
  • Do you have elderly whānau that you have concerns for?
  • Are you getting your whānau outside for physical activity?
  • Do you have whānau with mental health issues?

I am making assumptions, but I would assume that all of these questions will come before I even start to ponder what is my child doing with online learning. I would assume for many, there has been a very sharp shift back to focus on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

maslow's hierarchy of needs

I believe we as educators need to to be thinking along these lines when we are making contact with ākonga next term. We need to be focussing on hauora and wellbeing of our ākonga. So whether or not your Kura is taking learning online, your focus can be on what is truly relevant to our ākonga in this time. We should be concerned about how they are doing, how their well-being is, including taha tinana, taha hinengaro, taha whanau, and taha wairua.

Ideas could include:

  • If access to online material, using free exercise programmes such as… 

In addition, you can access, yoga, pilates, body resistance training, meditation and more… all that can help balance your hauora.

  • For a Mātauranga Māori approach to physical activity while living in isolation, Toi Tangata will be hosting a webinar with Atua Matua expert Dr Ihirangi Heke.
    This webinar will coalesce three decades of working in the outdoor environment into contemporary examples of surviving the recently imposed isolation. Dr Heke will introduce ideas on how to bring the outdoors inside with an introduction to

Atua Matua: A Māori Health Framework. Also included will be examples of health and well-being obtained without leaving your own backyard by learning how to read trees, insects, birds and changes in weather patterns. Likewise Dr Heke will provide some insight into the planning of training programs to last you through the isolation period and beyond. (accessed via Waikato PENZ @YkatoPENZ)

The above resource has lesson plans for

  • personal identity and enhancing self-worth
  • stress management
  • friendships, relationships, and communication
  • effects of discrimination and stereotyping on mental health
  • support of self and others during times of difficulty
  • equity issues that support the mental health of others and society
  • help-seeking
  • drug education and alcohol education (for example, the content on assertive communication, decision making, personal values)
  • leadership and effective communication.

These resources may also be helpful on change loss and grief.

At HPSS, we have had a focus on Porowhita and check ins with our ākonga.

This is more important than ever before, we have a maximum of 19 students in each hub. We aim next term to have check ins with our hubs once a week face to face (using google meet) for those that do not have access, we have loaned devices, for those who do not have connectivity we will ring and touch base. Ideas for porowhita can include ideas such as:

  • How are you going?
  • Have you got outside much?
  • Have you done any exercise?
  • What have you been up to in your daily schedules?
  • Do you have any worries at the moment?
  • How is your whānau doing?
  • Have you got any cool ideas for others on things to do at the moment?
  • How much screen time are you having? Do you need more balance?

Some great getting to know you (better) prompts:

  • My best quality is… And if I could change one thing about myself… 
  • Describe someone who is a hero to you and explain why. 
  • What didn’t you do this weekend? (or what would be your ideal weekend and how can you make that happen one day…?)
  • If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?  Why would you make this change? 
  • Talk about a difficult decision you have had to make. 
  • Talk about a time you gave someone good advice. 
  • If you had three wishes, what would they be?  (Do not ask for three more wishes) 
  • Talk about two things that your family or friends have taught you. 

Some examples from this website:

The Sky’s the Limit

  • What would you do if you knew you could not fail?
  • What would you do if money were no object?
  • What would you ask for if a genie granted you three wishes?
  • What’s your wildest dream?
  • What would you do if you could live a day without consequences?
  • What grand adventure do you wish you could go on?
  • If you could become an expert in any subject or activity, what would it be?
  • What would your perfect day be like?
  • Close your eyes and imagine the kind of world you would like to see.  What is it like?

An Ode To Your Uniqueness

  • What makes you unique?
  • How do you stand out from the crowd?
  • What are your best character traits?
  • What are you really good at?
  • How would you describe yourself?

Pretty sure some of these resources came via Rosamund Britton @rosbritton

Some other ideas/readings around hauora

the kindness curriculum 

Social and emotional learning 

leadership and wellbeing blog by Celia Fleck @CeliaFleck 

In addition to checking in on ākonga and their wellbeing, the focus can also be on taha whānau.
Learning for ākonga could include important aspects of tikanga such as manaakitanga and whanaungatanga. These are two of our hub strands. (This is how we have these defined below for our context).
Students  will explore some of their current relationships eg with self, peers, family and whānau, teachers, other significant adults and digital technology with a view to evaluating, refining and strengthening them. They will also explore the impact of these relationships on their overall well being and how the Hobsonville Habits might be useful in building and strengthening their relationships.

Manaakitanga, exploring what it is, why it is important and how it actually benefits the giver as well as the receiver. Hubs can plan together, or in smaller groups, a way or ways they can show Manaakitanga. This may be a one term activity or be adopted by the hub as an ongoing care project. The concept of Manaakitanga can be en-actioned at the level of self, others, local community, society or globally.

This could also be revisioned for this time: Ideas for in the home:

  • How are your whānau going at this difficult time?
  • What could you do to help support others well-being in your home?
  • Is there anything you can do for others? A neighbour? An elder who cannot leave their home?
  • What whānau physical activity challenges could you produce?
  • How can you impact on others hauora? Think of all four dimensions.
  • What chores could you do to help around the house?
  • Do you have younger siblings? What activities can you do with them?
  • How do you think you can help  Taha hinengaro in your house?
  • How do you think you can help  Taha whānau in your house?
  • How do you think you can help  Taha Wairua in your house?
  • How do you think you can help  Taha Tinana in your house?

In addition to the previous mentioned focuses of hauora, manaakitanga and whanaungatanga, our ākonga can also focus on the dispostions needed to make it through these changing times. At our Kura, we have named these the Hobsonville habits. These are the dispositions we believe that will allow our ākonga to thrive in this changing world. Our Tumuaki talks about further aspects of online learning here in his post Maurie Abraham @maurieabraham

Hobsonville habits

Screen Shot 2020-03-29 at 5.32.00 PM

I know for myself and my whānau, that there will be learning that will occur for my children next term. However, my priority will be on hauora and dispositions to allow them to cope. Priorities have shifted and what truly matters comes to the fore. I also believe this is how we can best support out ākonga and their whānau in these difficult times. Only then are we truly revisiting what success is, what is relevant right now and what is required to thrive in this ever changing world.



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