Te Whāinga o te Ao Tikanga

  • Level 3
  • 20 weeks - full-time
  • No fees

Programme overview:

Tikanga is about purpose, practices and protocols, and you'll find it in every aspect of te ao Māori (the Māori world). 

This introductory programme gives you the foundations of understanding what tikanga is, why it exists, and how it manifests itself in practice.

Your local class will have a specialised delivery strand that brings foundational tikanga learning to life.

When you pass this programme, you'll get this qualification:

  • Te Pōkaitahi Tikanga (Mātauranga Māori) Kaupae 3 - New Zealand Certificate in Tikanga (Mātauranga Māori) Level 3

You'll learn about:

  • the traditional thinking behind tikanga and how it is applied in te ao Māori and the modern world
  • how to manage and apply the tikanga in a range of different contexts including leadership, problem solving and research
  • protocols and cultural practices that provide solutions to modern day problems.

You'll be able to:

  • explain cultural concepts where tikanga is practiced, as an expression of mana ao tūroa
  • use a range of te reo structures and tikanga practices, as an expression of mana reo
  • apply factual knowledge of tikanga concepts to explain own relationship to the physical world, as an expression of mana whenua
  • work collaboratively with others to carry out a range of tikanga practices and concepts, as an expression of mana tangata


This qualification is for people who wish to develop some understanding of tikanga within a specialist field, founded on a Māori world view.

Graduates of this qualification will have some knowledge and skills to support and participate in tikanga practice, under limited supervision. Graduates of this qualification will be able to apply knowledge fundamental to tikanga practice, within a chosen field of work, or study, and across the community in general.

How you'll study:

This is a full-time programme that consists of 60 credits of learning over 20 weeks.  You will be required to attend 108 hours (an average of 6 hours per week) that may be made up of:

  • noho – usually Friday to Sunday
  • 1-day wānanga
  • kura whakaako

You’ll also need to participate in learning activities designed to enhance your learning for approximately:

  • 27 hours per week (on average)

Dates of your delivery schedule will be confirmed at enrolment. Some of the learning activities will need to be completed online.  You will need to have access to an internet-connected device for this programme.

Entry criteria

To enrol in this programme, a potential student must:

  • be at least 16 years of age
  • be a New Zealand citizen or resident (or citizen of Australia, Tokelau, Niue or the Cook Islands)
  • attend an information session with a kaiako

Where will this take me?

I want to keep studying

Advance to our Level 4 programme, Te Kunenga o te Ao Tikanga. Or you might want to enrol on another of our programmes in Māori language, the arts, business, computing or social work.

I want to use my qualification

Understanding the fundamentals of tikanga can help you contribute with confidence in your whānau, community, marae, or workplace. Graduates may choose a pathway to the following industries: tourism, hospitality and retail, media, education, and health.

Kōnae Ako (Learning Modules):

Mana Tangata | 15 Credits

Work collaboratively with others to carry out a range of tikanga practices and concepts as an expression of mana tangata. 

Mana Whenua | 15 Credits

Apply factual knowledge of tikanga concepts to explain your own relationship to the physical world as an expression of mana whenua. 

Mana Reo | 15 Credits

Use a range of reo structures and tikanga practices as an expression of mana reo.

Mana Ao Tūroa | 15 Credits

Explain cultural concepts associated within a context where tikanga are practiced as an expression of mana ao tūroa. 

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