Whakapapa/How Te Ara Whakamana: Mana Enhancement came to be

Te Ara Whakamana:Mana Enhancement had its earliest beginnings in New Zealand Education when in 2007, a Resource Teacher of Learning and Behaviour, Nigel Marshall, began thinking hard about how to address the growing problem of managing extreme behaviour in schools, and the striking over representation of Māori students in this area. Whatever resources and training that were currently available to schools weren't working and daily reports of violent incidents in the media were creating a culture of fear. Nigel decided to gather his thoughts on managing behaviour into a thesis paper for his Masters Degree in Educational Psychology. 

Several key concerns stood out at the time.
  • Almost every guideline on managing extreme behaviour was based on overseas models 
  • Few had a cultural content that even vaguely fitted or was appropriate for Māori (often multi-cultural add-ons)
  • Specialist knowledge and application was often required (e.g: martial arts/self defense training in holds and blocks) 
  • Designing effective and holistic tools for measuring outcomes was problematic (most studies were too specialised to contain meaningful data)