About Us

About Ako Solutionz

The Māori concept of AKO, meaning to teach and to learn, describes the interchangeable roles and the dynamics that occur when two or more people meet to share their skills, knowledge and experience. This powerful concept underpins our approach to working with people.

Nigel Marshall and Susan Ngawati Osborne, the Directors at AKO Solutionz Ltdare co authors and trainers in our New Zealand designed trademark tool Te Ara WhakamanaMana Enhancement.

Our aim with Te Ara WhakamanaMana Enhancement is to transform practice through the use of an holistic, culturally effective and practical approach that is informed by indigenous knowledge, western science, leading edge research, thinking and practice.
These innovative combinations allow for transformative results which are experienced by practitioners, recipients and their whānau and families.

The Working Concept 
AKO Solutionz is founded in the belief that culturally respectful, mana enhancing relationships support, restore and sustain a healthy society. The problem our clients face is that access to culturally appropriate and effective tools is limited. We solve this problem through the provision of whole of school/organisation/business training in the use of Te Ara Whakamana: Mana Enhancement as a means to achieve transformative change at all levels. Our special focus is in the use of Māori myth messages. These messages contain the ancient wisdom and transformational elements that are embedded within all cultures to achieve self determination and wellbeing.

A world where every person has access to Te Ara Whakamana: Mana Enahancement - a culturally centred, strengths-based framework for wellbeing and positive change.

OUR MISSION: For the transformative impact of Te Ara Whakamana: Mana Enhancement to be experienced by individuals, whānau/families and communities.

 Whakamana/Respect; Whakapono/Integrity

Our Clients
Our clients are leaders in their fields of transforming lives. They are passionate, professional, responsive, intelligent and committed success makers and team leaders wanting to improve their practice and learn and share new and effective approaches to positive behaviour change. We work in close, long term partnerships with our clients to ensure their needs are met and connect them to fellow clients to grow a community of practice.

Te Ara Whakamana: Mana Enhancement has been used in over 85 schools and 30 different social services organisations throughout New Zealand including Primary, Intermediate and High Schools, Kura Kaupapa Māori, Christian Schools, Tertiary Institutions, Early Childhood Education, Probation, Corrections and Youth Justice. 

Nigel Marshall 
BA Honours, Diploma Special Needs Resource Teacher, Masters Educational Psychology

Nigel Marshall (England, NZ Pākehā) has a Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology and a lifelong career in Teaching, teaching Special Needs Children and as a Resource Teacher for Learning and Behaviour.

Working alongside Māori students, their whānau and communities has given Nigel an appreciation of the depth and strengths of Te Ao Māori (the Māori world view) and the importance of incorporating this knowledge into any strategies and approaches used to create opportunities for wellbeing and positive behaviour change.

In 2012, Nigel led a multi-disciplinary team that developed our uniquely New Zealand model for well-being and behaviour change, Te Ara Whakamana: Mana Enhancement.

Susan Ngawati Osborne 
Ngāti Te Ara, Ngāti Kopaki, Ngāti Hine

Susan Ngawati Osborne (Ngāti Te Ara, Ngāti Kopaki, Ngāti Hine), has a double degree in Education and Māori Studies and is a co-author of the Model.

Susan has a strong background in social and Māori community work and has worked as a Community Trainer in Te Tiriti o Waitangi and as a Kaupapa Māori practitioner in the Sexual Violence/Family Harm sector in West Auckland, where she concurrently held a Ministry of Social Development position of Kaitautoko ki Tamariki/Mokopuna (Child Advocate Māori) for those who witness or experience harm and abuse.

Susan was a recent member of the Interim Te Rōpu, a Ministerial appointment to a Kaupapa Māori Rōpu tasked with creating a National Strategy for the elimination of violence and is a current Pouawha member of Ngā Kaitiaki Māori (TOAHNNEST), a national organisation working to eliminate sexual violence. Susan continues to work as a special projects manager in the Kaupapa Māori Mahi Tūkino sector for Tu Wahine Trust, West Auckland.

Susan has also served as a Trustee for her Marae, Te Rito (ki Moerewa), and remains active in whānau, hapū and iwi issues and activities.

Richard Brooking
Ngati Porou, Ngati Kahungunu, Ngai Tamanuhiri, Te Arawa

Richard is the Chairman of the Ako Solutionz board and brings a wealth of Senior Management experience in both the community, Māori community and corporate sectors to AKO Solutionz.

Richard’s experience includes roles of Chairman, Director, Facilitator, General Manager, Trust Chairman, Strategic Advisor Māori, and Regional Manager.

Richard’s current roles include: Chairman of Patunamu Forest Ltd Te Wairoa; Chairman of Whakaki Lake Trust, Whakaki, Te Wairoa; Facilitator to the Māori Land Court.