Niwa Brightwell, of Taranaki and Ngāti Kāhungunu descent, is a teacher of economics, business studies and raranga at Hastings Girls' High School. In addition to this role, Niwa is also an Across School Leader within her Kāhui Ako.
Niwa spearheaded the accreditation process to enable Hastings Girls' High School to deliver a NCEA level 3 mahi raranga programme. Teaching raranga has given her the opportunity to support Māori students of Hastings Girls' High School to learn this healing art form as well as giving her teaching profession a new lease of life.
Listen as Niwa shares her view point of leadership.
Becoming one of few schools who have been accredited to deliver NCEA raranga at level 3 has been a great leadership moment in Niwa's career. But not the only one, Niwa explains her best moments in leadership.
Niwa describes the last book she read, Te Tōhunga by W Dittmer, as being able to capture the poetic and metaphorical language of early Māori as well as capturing the gothic and spooky āhua of the time. Niwa shares an interesting review of this book from her perspective.
Niwa describes her role as an Across School Leader in her Kāhui Ako as a huge learning curve, and being the only Māori Across School Leader has had additional tasks over and above those of other across school leaders. Niwa shares her viewpoint on being an Across School Leader in a Kāhui Ako.
"Be ready to take a risk, and if you know something is right, fight for it" - Niwa offers her advice for first time leaders.
The pathway to NCEA level 3 accreditation was not well trodden, however, with the support of school leaders, local kuia, hapū and iwi, Niwa spearheaded the challenge that few kura have conquered. Listen to how Niwa was able to establish the mahi raranga programme with the support of her leaders.