Our Philosophy - Te Nīkau™

Te Kōpuku High derives its name from Te Nīkau™ framework which was developed by life-long educationalist, Cath Rau and founding poumatua/tumuaki of Te Kōpuku High.  

The nīkau palm is a metaphor for the mokopuna or student and is an important reference point for what we do and why we do it in the service of mokopuna. 

The kāhiwi (trunk) speaks to our connection to Papatūānuku, Mother Earth. The rings on the kāhiwi represent the experiences that have shaped who we are.

Te kōpuku (the crownshaft) of the nīkau with its overlapping layers, holds the growing heart of the mokopuna. Te kōpuku reminds us to keep the mokopuna at the centre of our plans and actions, that as a school, we have a huge responsibility to the mokopuna to support them to be the best version of their whakapapa. Over time, as the nīkau matures, the layer represented by the school peels away as the mokopuna moves on to the next stage of their life.  

Ngā hua (the fruit) indicates that the nīkau is thriving and we are growing vibrant individuals who can serve their whānau and community from the abundance of gifts, both spiritual and material, that they possess and have gained. 

Ngā rau (the leaves) of the nīkau resemble DNA and reminds us that each individual has their own pattern of strengths, passions, gifts and perspectives. We believe that education should help individuals to understand and value their uniqueness, to nurture it and give it expression in the world. Ngā rau carry the values of creativity, vision and innovation.

Nīkau grow in urupuia or groves, recognising collective strength comes from the efforts and contributions of the individual. Mauri Ora.


Last checked: April 2021