Improving the lifelong outcomes for young people growing up in Papakura

Welcome to

Kootuitui ki Papakura

Whanaungatanga | Who are we?

Kootuitui means weaving or connecting, and in this way, our strands work together to support whaanau and schools to improve outcomes for tamariki.

Kootuitui ki Papakura has three strands: Education, Health and Whaanau. Like harakeke, these strands are intrinsically interconnected and interdependent, as illustrated by our logo and our name.

Kootuitui ki Papakura exists to redress the inequity in our community and improve the immediate, mid and lifelong outcomes of young people growing up in South Auckland.

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Research has identified these three key strands, when delivered together, can have a transformative impact – on our children, their futures, and the community as a whole. 

Kootuitui works at grassroots levels providing direct support to our cluster of six low decile schools in Papakura: Papakura High School, Te Kura Akonga o Manurewa, Edmund Hillary School, Kereru Park Campus, Papakura Central School and Mangapikopiko School. 

Due to the  impact of Covid-19 in our community, we have extended our support to many other  schools and whaanau residing in our Papakura and surrounding areas who are experiencing persistent poverty.

Kootuitui ki Papakura is unique.

No other provider delivers wraparound services that incorporate health, education and whaanau. We do this as we believe this is the only way to provide young people with the platform they need to reach their full potential.

Social Return on Investment

  • Every year, Kootuitui ki Papakura delivers $13,795,984 of measurable good to New Zealand society.
  • Over six years, we have provided 3030 tamariki with their own chromebook.
  • Kootuitui ki Papakura provides professional development and in-class support to teachers new to digital learning.
  • Our Health strand provides Registered Nurses to our primary schools.
  • At Papakura High School Kootuitui ki Papakura funds a Nurse Specialist and a Youth Worker.

Kootuitui ki Papakura - Making a Difference

The Schools & Tamariki We Help

Kootuitui ki Papakura comprises a cluster of five primary schools and one high school in Papakura and surrounding areas; Papakura High School, Te Kura Akonga o Manurewa, Edmund Hillary, Kereru Park Campus, Papakura Central and Mangapikopiko School.

Except for Papakura Central School, all others are classified as decile one or two. This means that many students reside in low socioeconomic communities and are predominantly of Maori and/or Pasifika descent.

Further to this, students and whaanau within this cohort are often disengaged from primary and other health care services and due to the prevalence of overcrowded, damp and substandard housing, students are at far greater risk of contracting communicable diseases and skin conditions.

Our Programmes

Our programme is an integration of three strands


Kootuitui schools will make sustainable improvements to teaching and learning through increasing capacity at all levels to provide equitable opportunities to students.


Eliminate the occurrence of preventable illnesses such as rheumatic fever and skin infections for students and their whaanau attending our cluster schools.


We will future proof our core business - Digital literacy, Money Skills and Warm Dry Homes courses - enabling online delivery, whilst increasing the number of course recipients and graduates.

Our Whakapapa | Where We Came From

In 2014, the vision of an integrated approach to improving educational outcomes in Papakura was launched. An initial cluster of schools signed a memorandum of understanding with the Manaiakalani Education Trust with a shared purpose to:

‘Enable fully engaged citizenship through enhanced student achievement outcomes and transformed pedagogy’.

The overwhelming need of the Papakura and wider South Auckland communities led to the formation of Kootuitui ki Papakura. The Trust originated from the South Auckland Health Foundation, which set out in 1999 to improve the health of people in the community, notably the growing numbers of tamariki being admitted to hospitals with preventable diseases such as rheumatic fever, skin and respiratory infections. 

To ensure the achievement of this vision, Kootuitui ki Papakura was incorporated in October 2015, receiving financial support for its first three years from the Middlemore Foundation.

Six years later, we have supported 3030 tamariki to own their own Chromebook and provided professional development and in-class support to teachers new to digital learning. 

In addition, our Education Programme Leader has developed and delivered multiple toolkit sessions each year to ensure teachers and students have access to the most up-to-date learning and resources.

Our Home | Te Ahi Kaa Roa

Papakura has a rapidly growing population of about 62,000. The rapid growth of our community over recent years can be directly attributed to rising house costs and the displacement of those who cannot afford to rent closer to Auckland’s urban centre.

One significant consequence of this is Papakura and surrounding areas have lower socio-economic status and related outcomes than many other parts of NZ.

The impact is evident in that Papakura has a lower median income, higher rates of unemployment, lower rates of qualifications, lower homeownership rates, and higher average rents. Since 2020 these issues have been further exacerbated by Covid-19.

Te Kaha | Growing Our Whaanau to Whaanau Community Impact

Covid-19 exacerbated and accentuated the digital, economic, knowledge, social divide and the inequity experienced by the Papakura community.

Our Whaanau team has been at the forefront, responding to the overwhelming needs emerging within our community.  Families reported increased rates of:

  • Stress and mental health issues
  • Domestic violence
  • Financial worry and increased debts associated with food and utility bills
  • Young people disengaged from online and school-based learning
  • Alcohol or other drug use
  • Anxiety regarding physical wellbeing and concern regarding their family member contracting Covid-19

Our Projects

Updates on our education, health and whaanau projects
Kootuitui ki Papakura Org NZ whaanau projects 4 Whaanau

Kōtuitui ki Papakura Trust getting ready to help bring south Auckland homes up to healthy standard after COVID-19 delays

It might be the middle of summer but in south Auckland, a private trust is getting ready for the middle of winter.

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Kootuitui ki Papakura project featured image 3 Education

New initiatives in focus ‘Kohine Toa/ Building strong young women’

In the Auckland region, approximately 7% of school leavers graduate with less than their NCEA level 1; however, in South Auckland, the figure is 17.6%. After an extended lockdown in 2021, the NCEA achievement rates for higher decile schools remained static or improved.

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Kootuitui ki Papakura project featured image 4 Education

Chromebook Project

Kootuitui ki Papakura supports our communities of schools to relocate into the digital age, becoming “At Home in a Digital World” and “Developing staff to use the affordances of technology to accelerate learning outcomes, becoming ‘Future Focused Learners in Connected Communities”.

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Our Supporters

We benefit from the support of funders, partners and community organisations, and the commitment of the schools’ boards, leaders, teachers and staff.