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Taakaro Ora – Active Wellbeing (Taakaro Ora for short) is a three-year pilot aimed at enhancing and supporting the existing work of schools to further grow student wellbeing.

Taakaro Ora – Active Wellbeing is an initial three-year pilot aimed at improving student wellbeing. Taakaro Ora brings together concepts from  (a Sport NZ initiative) alongside the existing Waikato DHB funded Sport Waikato programme, Project Energize.

The initiative is co-designed, working with Te Pae Here Kaahui Ako (the North East Hamilton Community of Learning) to align its goals directly with the Te Pae Here High-Level Plan (Achievement Challenges) and Mason Durie’s Te Whare Tapa Whaa philosophy of hauora.

A partnership between Te Pae Here Kaahui Ako, Sport Waikato, Sport NZ and other key stakeholders working together is an exciting opportunity as we strive to achieve a strength-based, collaborative and sustainable model of support within our kura.

Ensuring an authentic approach to hauora is important to Taakaro Ora and that equal emphasis is placed on each dimension in order for the inter-woven nature of the philosophy to become embedded within strategic planning of our schools, pedagogy of staff, the lifestyle of our communities and ultimately a lifelong journey of wellbeing for our tamariki.

The Taakaro Ora team will work with Te Pae Here schools to identify their unique needs in order to build a sustainable system where children and young people will have quality, fun, challenging and inspiring health and physical education, wellbeing-based activities, and physical activity/sporting experiences. These experiences will support students to be resilient, confident, mindful, active, and successful members of society who are more in-tune with their hauora/wellbeing and that of those around them.

The Name

The name Taakaro Ora was chosen in consultation with the Sport Waikato Roopu Kaimahi Maaori with the purpose to better reflect the holistic nature of the pilot and a stronger emphasis on all aspects of hauora. The Roopu group gave the following whakapapa to the name:

Taakaro Ora - Active Wellbeing is about growing healthy tamariki and a healthy tamaiti grows through play. That’s where Taakaro derives from. Ora derives from ‘Te ha e u ana ki roto i a koe, e ora ai koe’ which means ‘The breath within you that sustains the essence of life and life itself’. Combining the meaning of these two words portrays what Taakaro Ora – Active Wellbeing is about.

Advisory Group

To help meet these outcomes, Taakaro Ora is supported by an advisory group made up of the following stakeholders: Te Pae Here, Sport Waikato, Ngaati Wairere, Sport NZ, University of Waikato, Waikato DHB, Hamilton City Council, and the Ministry of Education.


A connected community supporting the holistic wellbeing/hauora of tamariki and whaanau.

Key Outcomes

  • Schools value health and physical education, physical activity, sport, mindfulness and play as a vehicle to enhance tamariki wellbeing/hauora.
  • Teachers are confident and competent in the planning and delivery of Health and Physical Education
  • Communities are well connected and put the needs and wants of tamariki at the heart of what they do
  • Tamariki are provided with quality opportunities for participation, support and experiences to improve their overall wellbeing/hauora


Taakaro Ora identifies the need for a holistic approach to student wellbeing and will utilise Mason Durie’s Te Whare Tapa Whaa model to achieve the best possible outcomes. As stated in the New Zealand Health and Physical Education Curriculum, this model compares hauora/wellbeing to the four walls of a whare, where each wall represents a different dimension of wellbeing:

  • Taha hinengaro (mental and emotional wellbeing)
  • Taha wairua (spiritual wellbeing)
  • Taha tinana (physical wellbeing)
  • Taha whaanau (social wellbeing)

All four dimensions are necessary for hauora to be achieved. Below is Taakaro Ora’s representation of Te Whare Tapa Whaa.


Areas of Support

Taakaro Ora has two key areas of support: In-school curriculum support for teachers and enhancing community connections. Both areas contribute to developing individualised action plans that are contextualised to each school and their unique environment.
Curriculum Support
Schools and teachers will have the opportunity to:

  • Engage in cross-school collaboration, the sharing of information, ideas, questions and best practice, with each other and the Taakaro Ora team.
  • Receive support and guidance around their delivery of the health and physical education curriculum and cross-curricular integration.
  • Receive relevant professional development from the Taakaro Ora team and/or others.
Community Connections
Schools will have the opportunity to work with Taakaro Ora to:
  • Strengthen relationships between each other, their families, outside providers, and the wider community.
  • Develop wellbeing-based projects to support students and families.