Moko Club Ngāruawāhia - 12/01/2018

1 Evaluation of Moko Club Ngāruawahia

How well placed is Moko Club Ngāruawahia to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Moko Club Ngāruawahia requires further development in the areas of professional leadership for quality early childhood education and teaching capability, including providing positive guidance for children.

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.


Moko Club Ngāruawahia is a newly established, purpose-built centre. It is located close to Turangawaewae Marae on land provided by lease agreement from King Tuheitia. It is licensed for 35 children, including up to five under the age of two years. At the time of this review 21 children were enrolled, most of whom are from Tainui iwi. This is a mixed-age centre.

The service was developed with the support of the Ministry of Education to encourage higher levels of participation in early childhood education. A second centre in Huntly has also been established under the same ownership. The centre received its full licence in March 2017 and this is the first ERO review for this service.

Moko Club (NZ) Ltd. is a fully owned subsidiary of Kowhai Consulting, an advisory firm specialising in Māori development. They provide governance support with personnel, culture, strategic direction, administration, documentation and policy. Moko Club is supported by an external advisory board that includes corporate advisors, charitable governance and management, and a representative of the Māori King's office. A manager, who is a trained primary school teacher, oversees both centres. A teacher with an early childhood qualification takes responsibility for the day-to-day operations of the centre.

The centre philosophy aims to provide learning in a fun environment with the Māori concept of ‘Kaitiakitanga’ being the guiding framework. Te ao Māori (the Māori world) and the importance of tangata whenua in Aotearoa underpin this philosophy. Priority is placed on engagement of children and whānau, removing barriers to attendance and establishing trust in their communities.

The Review Findings

The curriculum reflects aspects of the Moko Club vision and philosophy. However, it is yet to effectively and consistently provide children with an appropriate and rich range of experiences to promote their learning. The delivery of the curriculum that needs further development include:

  • a consistent alignment from the centre's curriculum to the New Zealand early childhood curriculum Te Whāriki

  • the effective integration of literacy, oral language and mathematics learning in a play-based programme

  • a strengthened approach to add complexity and challenge for the older children and more flexible routines

Children participate in a centre which strongly reflects their cultural identity. They are learning about Kingitanga, karakia, waiata, Tūrangawaewae Marae, atua and kapahaka. Children enjoy learning and playing in mixed-age settings that promote tuakana/ teina relationships. Teachers and whānau use te reo Māori in natural conversations with children. The community make significant contributions to the service. Children benefit from a curriculum that reflects te ao Māori in a Waikato Tainui context.

Children's learning is documented and shared through well-presented wall display and portfolios. A particular strength is the deliberate inclusion of language, culture and identity and parent aspirations in children’s portfolios and in aspects of planning. Teachers now need to align the assessment, planning and evaluation process more clearly to the early childhood curriculum Te Whāriki.

Children up-to-two years of age experience opportunities to learn alongside older children in a spacious environment where their oral language skills are promoted.

Teachers have established meaningful partnerships with parents and have included parent aspirations and values in planning the curriculum. They work with specialist agencies to identify and support children who have additional learning needs. Priority should be given to supporting teachers to develop and implement positive, respectful, and responsive teaching strategies that support children's learning and wellbeing. These strategies should be shared with whānau.

Aspects of leadership and management require strengthening. Management need to provide further support to develop leadership capability and provide clear guidelines to define roles and responsibilities for leaders and teachers. This should include implementing a robust teacher appraisal process. Provision is required for teachers to access ongoing professional development to build their capacity and comply with teacher registration requirements.

Internal evaluation requires further development. Spontaneous and long term reviews have contributed to some aspects of ongoing centre development and improvement. This process now needs to be more specific, using indicators of best practice in early childhood education and to focus on learning outcomes for children.

Kowhai Consulting Ltd need to consider accessing professional early childhood educational advice and expertise to support them to meet their commitment to providing a high-quality service to children and their whānau. This should include reviewing the service's vision, goals and philosophy to better reflect the requirements of the early childhood licensing criteria and principles of Te Whāriki.

Key Next Step

The centre needs to strengthen the effectiveness of professional leadership. This is necessary to improve teacher capability and deliver a service that reflects best practice in early childhood education. Specific areas that need improvement are:

  • the implementation of the Te Whāriki curriculum

  • internal evaluation systems and processes

  • teaching practice with a focus on positive guidance strategies

  • appraisal and the provision of professional learning and development opportunities for teachers.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Moko Club Ngāruawahia completed an ERO Centre Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • curriculum
  • premises and facilities
  • health and safety practices
  • governance, management and administration.

During the review, ERO looked at the service’s systems for managing the following areas that have a potentially high impact on children's wellbeing:

  • emotional safety (including positive guidance and child protection)

  • physical safety (including supervision; sleep procedures; accidents; medication; hygiene; excursion policies and procedures)

  • suitable staffing (including qualification levels; police vetting; teacher registration; ratios)

  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

All early childhood services are required to promote children’s health and safety and to regularly review their compliance with legal requirements.

In order to improve current practice, centre leaders should

  • strengthen the provision of the early childhood curriculum provided for children
  • implement a more robust appraisal process to meet Education Council requirements.

Development Plan Recommendation

ERO recommends that the service, in consultation with the Ministry of Education, develops a plan to address the key next steps and actions outlined in this report.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Moko Club Ngāruawahia will be within two years.

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

12 January 2018

The Purpose of ERO Reports

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the government department that, as part of its work, reviews early childhood services throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. ERO’s reports provide information for parents and communities about each service’s strengths and next steps for development. ERO’s bicultural evaluation framework Ngā Pou Here is described in SECTION 3 of this report. Early childhood services are partners in the review process and are expected to make use of the review findings to enhance children's wellbeing and learning.

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

35 children, including up to 5 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 13 Girls 8

Ethnic composition



Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80% Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Meets minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

October 2017

Date of this report

12 January 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

No previous ERO reports

3 General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

ERO’s Evaluation Framework

ERO’s overarching question for an early childhood education review is ‘How well placed is this service to promote positive learning outcomes for children?’ ERO focuses on the following factors as described in the bicultural framework Ngā Pou Here:

  • Pou Whakahaere – how the service determines its vision, philosophy and direction to ensure positive outcomes for children
  • Pou Ārahi – how leadership is enacted to enhance positive outcomes for children
  • Mātauranga – whose knowledge is valued and how the curriculum is designed to achieve positive outcomes for children
  • Tikanga whakaako – how approaches to teaching and learning respond to diversity and support positive outcomes for children.

Within these areas ERO considers the effectiveness of arotake – self review and of whanaungatanga – partnerships with parents and whānau.

ERO evaluates how well placed a service is to sustain good practice and make ongoing improvements for the benefit of all children at the service.

A focus for the government is that all children, especially priority learners, have an opportunity to benefit from quality early childhood education. ERO will report on how well each service promotes positive outcomes for all children, with a focus on children who are Māori, Pacific, have diverse needs, and are up to the age of two.

For more information about the framework and Ngā Pou Here refer to ERO’s Approach to Review in Early Childhood Services.

ERO’s Overall Judgement and Next Review

The overall judgement that ERO makes and the timing of the next review will depend on how well placed a service is to promote positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed – The next ERO review in four years
  • Well placed – The next ERO review in three years
  • Requires further development – The next ERO review within two years
  • Not well placed - The next ERO review in consultation with the Ministry of Education

ERO has developed criteria for each category. These are available on ERO’s website.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews are tailored to each service’s context and performance, within the overarching review framework. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.