NCEA Māori Medium Literacy and Numeracy Standards - Reo Pākehā Questionnaire

Closed 5 Mar 2021

Opened 9 Feb 2021


You are asked to provide feedback on draft Māori-medium literacy and numeracy standards and supporting materials for the new NCEA literacy and numeracy co-requisite, as part of the NCEA Change Package.

This feedback will help us to improve the standards and supporting materials. This opportunity is the first of several feedback opportunities before the standards are fully implemented in 2023.

The Māori-medium standards align to Te Marautanga o Aotearoa (TMoA). We are also developing standards that align to New Zealand Curriculum (English-medium standards). Both the Māori-medium and English-medium standards can be used by any student in any setting.


Why your views matter

Why the change to literacy and numeracy in NCEA?

Literacy and numeracy are important foundational skills that ensure success in further learning across the curriculum, life, and work.

Throughout the engagement phase of the NCEA Review we heard from a range of people, including employers, teachers, parents, students, and tertiary institutions, that the current NCEA literacy and numeracy requirements are not robust.

We heard that we need a shared understanding of foundational literacy and numeracy that will set up learners well for their next steps.

The key change

  • New standards will directly credential literacy and numeracy, as a co-requisite to the qualification. This means students will need to pass the standards in order to receive the formal NCEA award.
  • There will be two sets of standards: one to support te reo Māori and one the English language. Each will make up a coherent package of standards set at Level 4/5 of TMoA.
  • The tasks will be set and assessed by NZQA in order to keep the workload reasonable and ensure certainty of achievement.
  • Because the standards will support foundational levels of literacy and numeracy, the standards will be eligible for a grade of Achieved and no higher.
  • The standards will form a coherent package, worth 20 credits altogether. Those credits will not count towards the credit count for levels 1, 2, or 3.
  • The standards will be accessible from as early as Year 9.
  • The standards will become mandatory from 2023, as long as the sector is ready.

What is in the standards?

The Māori-medium standards will include pānui, tuhituhi, reo-ā-waha, and pāngarau and English-medium standards will include reading, writing, and mathematics.

The standards will reflect the foundational literacy and numeracy required to navigate learning, life, and work. Foundational literacy and numeracy refer to knowledge and capabilities that are sufficient for young people to access further learning, develop life skills and engage in employment in their communities. In Aotearoa New Zealand, these include understanding how to participate in our bicultural society.

For the purposes of the new standards, foundational literacy and numeracy is approximately Level 4/5 of the TMoA, whereby a student has full control over level 4 and is ready to work at Level 5.  

Within Tīrewa Ako, which is currently under development, the standards will sit at the upper levels. This framework will be able to used to understand the learning progression of students in these standards.

The development process so far and the products for your review

In 2019, a Technical Advisory Group made up of experts told us what the level of the new standards should be and what they should include. In 2020, a small group of experts drafted the standards, based on the recommendations of the Technical Advisory Group.

These groups drafted the contents of two products (each for literacy and numeracy) that we are now seeking your feedback on:

  • the Standard
  • a Learning Matrix

The products are derived from TMoA and Tīrewa Ako and are also supported by technical work that was carried out by the Tīrewa Ako developers prior to the standards being drafted.

What next?

The feedback that you provide on this questionnaire will help us to refine the standards and materials to ensure they cover foundational literacy and numeracy. Your feedback will also give us direction on teaching, learning, and assessment.


The literacy and numeracy standards have been developed in a way that could be assessed by a digital adaptive tool if one is able to be developed. In the interim, students may be assessed using a Common Assessment Activity (CAA).

Portfolio assessment will also be available as a form of assessment alongside the CAA, and the digital adaptive tool (if one becomes available). Portfolio assessment is limited to Māori-medium standards and will not be available for English medium.

Teaching, Learning, and Assessment Guidance

Additional materials to support teachers and leaders with implementation in schools and other settings will be developed. This will include teaching, learning, and assessment guidance, and readiness tool guidance.

We also encourage teachers and leaders to start considering how change might take place in your setting to support literacy and numeracy.

  • Leaders should begin to think about what literacy and numeracy support systems exist across your school and how you can lead a successful cross-curricular approach to teaching and learning.
  • Teachers and educators should begin to think about supporting literacy and numeracy in your own subject or learning area. Consider what diagnostic tools and supports could help you. 

In-school Pilots

A small number of kura, schools, and polytechnics will have the opportunity to pilot the standards that you provide your feedback on in Term 3 and 4 of 2021. Keep an eye out for information on how you can participate in the standards in 2022.