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Whiria te Tāngata

Whiria te tāngata kia toitū te mātauranga

Whiria te Tāngata — weaving the people together, to ensure the long-term sustainability of a libraries sector that is widely valued, used, enabled, and supported to deliver positive social and economic outcomes for people, whānau, communities, iwi, and Aotearoa.


Whiria te Tāngata is funded by the New Zealand Libraries Partnership Programme (NZLPP), led by Te Rōpū Whakahau and supported by the National Library of New Zealand.

The inaugural Whiria te Tāngata was led by the National Library of New Zealand, read more here. Te Rōpū Whakahau have now been funded to run a second and final programme.


Whiria te Tāngata is an initiative that brings together ten library and information professionals, known as Kākaho, from diverse backgrounds. They embark on an eight-month learning and development journey, underpinned by mātauranga Māori.

Kākaho — Library Sustainability Champions

The kākaho – sustainability champions come from an intentionally diverse range of backgrounds and experiences within the library sector. Kākaho work within their substantive roles, whilst working collaboratively together via a dedicated online learning management system, dedicating one day a week to the programme.

They learn through both online and face-to-face noho marae spaced throughout the programme. With the support of their workplace, being a kākaho will include applying practical skills to highly relevant issues facing libraries and the library sector today.

Read blog posts written by the kākaho cohort


Whiria te Tāngata is split into four tukutuku (panel) modules that are all underpinned by mātauranga Māori.


Waharua according to some is a pattern also known as whenua. It has symbolic connections with the land and alludes to the burial of the pito in the land after birth. This pattern represents the mātauranga Māori workstream and underpins all of the workstreams.


Poutama represents the process of scaffolding knowledge and recognises that people build on prior knowledge and experience. This was particularly apt when applied to Workforce Capability to assist in the continued building and development of future librarians. This workstream focuses on introducing and implementing a sector workforce capability framework to build the infrastructure to support broadening and strengthening capability.

Workforce Capability resources

Purapura whetū

Purapura whetū represents the many stars in the sky, which in turn can have multiple significances. We chose this design to underpin the data, research, and evidence mahi due to the complexity and issues that are an integral part of this process.

This workstream focuses on supporting the implementation of a sector data, research, and evidence strategy to lay the foundations for a strong data culture and data, research, and evidence base of the social and economic value libraries services deliver.

Data, research, and evidence strategy resources

Niho taniwha

Niho taniwha, means the ‘teeth of the taniwha’. When taken literally, it seems apt for collective impact as determination and tenacity that will be needed to build a more joined-up sector for the future.


The sustainability champions give strength to our tukutuku panel and are the backbone to the project. As they move through the learning and development, they are giving life to the tūmatakahuki which binds everything together.


Whiria te Tāngata aims:

· to grow the capacity and confidence within the wider sector to implement sustainability initiatives

· to introduce and implement long-term sustainability initiatives for the library sector

· to be Mātauranga Māori led and embedded

· to build a compelling narrative on the value of libraries to communities and Aotearoa

Whiria te Tāngata advisory group

Whiria te Tāngata operates with an advisory committee to:

· ensure that the project is tracking as expected.

· maintain oversight of key dependencies and Library Sector activities that may impact on the project.

· ensure that project-level risks and issues are identified, managed, and appropriately escalated.

· provide support through a Te Ao Māori lens.

Want more information? Get in touch if you have a question, email us at

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