Professional Development wananga with RTLB

An A3K professional development wananga is tailored specifically to the organisation and while the session is one full day, countless hours go in to creating the perfect programme that achieves management objectives and delivers skills that staff can implement the very next day.
Wananga can mean many things in korero but in this context it means ‘seminar, conference, forum, educational seminar’.
The Ministry of Education Resource Teacher: Learning Behaviour team (RTLB) chose to partake in a wananga so the team could “participate in positive learning and feel comfortable on a marae”, says Karen Sutherland, practice leader. “We also wanted to change opinions within the team about visiting a marae.”
“While it was a great fit for the RTLB to engage with us, professional development wananga is beneficial for any organisation that works with or for Maori, as well as any group that wants to reconnect and rediscover their core values,” says Michelle Taiaroa McDonald, Kaihautu operations manager.
Karen continues, “The hours of planning that A3K put into the session was perfect, they met with management first to discuss any sticking points and objectives and then had a two hour session with the team at our office before we went to the marae. This was a great time for us to ask any questions and break down barriers. By the end we were really excited about our trip out there!”
Setting the wananga on Otakou Marae is an integral component of the wananga as it is a sacred place in Maori culture. “Being on the marae had a huge impact on our experience. It’s such a beautiful setting and really delivers a level of authenticity we wouldn’t be able to get anywhere else. That authenticity now translates into the work we do with our Maori pupils.”
While compliance and strategic alignment are common triggers for organisations to reach out to A3K, many organisations are pleasantly surprised with additional outcomes like team building and uncovering hidden talents within the team. Karen elaborates, “Roera (Kaitiaki practitioner) asks the questions that no one else wants to; the conversation flows and relationships go from strength to strength.”
“My goal is to ensure that everyone leaves with real skills they can implement the very next day, whilst meeting management’s objectives”, Roera Komene says.
After the wananga, Roera touches base with the organisation to see how everything is going, and then a full report is delivered to management, including recommendations. Sometimes recommendations include individual cultural supervision, which provides and outside perspecitve to the normal working environment. (this will be covered in the next issue of A3K’s newsletter). “It’s great that the wananga is just the start of improving our work, rather than the end”, says Karen, “We’re now undertaking cultural supervision within the team and it’s great to have the wananga as a reference point for everyone, as well as A3K’s ongoing support.” 
“I can’t speak of the experience highly enough, we’ve even had staff request we go back to Otakou Marae, which is a huge step considering many apprehensions before the wananga” Karen concludes. If your organisation is refocusing its strategic plan, needing assistance with compliance or could benefit from a day of in-depth discussion and learning, why not get in touch with Roera or Michelle? For more information about professional development wananga, click here