Our Kaupapa

The Te Puna Taiao kaupapa has been designed to include general design elements that are flexible and can be applied by each school or commuity in the way that best suits their situation


Te Puna Taiao – Our Kaupapa Overview

And so, the Te Puna Taiao kaupapa was born.

It proposes that the hauora and resilience and in turn, the educational outcomes of our country’s tamariki and communities could be improved using a new approach to design the outdoor spaces of our schools to apply what we know from child development research and mātauranga Māori.

Implementation of the Te Puna Taiao kaupapa presents an extremely cost-effective opportunity for a cross-government approach to improve the lives and outcomes of our children, reduce current inequities and build stronger, more resilient whānau and communities.

The Te Puna Taiao kaupapa has been designed to provide children with the right opportunities to flourish, both as individuals, and as members of whānau, communities and Te Ao Tūroa.

We are advocating for schools to use their physical environments to:

  • Better connect children to Te Ao Tūroa, the enduring    natural world, by providing beautiful natural play    spaces and gardens
  • Foster co-operative and creative play by providing    separate, diverse and connected spaces, catering to the    full range of the senses
  • Provide for building resilience and self-control by    providing opportunities for riskier and enriched    play-based learning and teaching
  • Foster mana whenua by connecting children to their    rohe and Te Ao Tūroa through clear references and    connections to Te Ao Māori in all aspects of design, in    turn also improving practice of culturally responsive    and relational pedagogies and use of Māori themes.  














A creative playground is only half a creative space; it’s also a creative attitude. And we’re changing attitudes as much as we’re changing spaces.

— Jay Beckwith, 1973