Our research

Here is a selection of published research projects:

Talanoa Ako response to COVID-19 case study

Maintaining learning momentum within Pacific communities during COVID-19 lockdown

On 25 March 2020, Aotearoa New Zealand, went into COVID-19 lockdown. At Alert Level 4, people had to stay home, no gatherings were allowed, and all public places were closed. The lockdown came quickly and was hard for some Pacific families.

Realising that community partners could not deliver the Talanoa Ako programme face-to-face as they had normally, the Parent Information and Community Intelligence (PICI) Strategy and Integration team, at the Ministry of Education quickly considered alternative delivery options. The case studies, and accompanying infographics, highlight how the PICI team met Pacific parents and families needs and supported their children’s education at home.

The case studies, and accompanying infographics, can be found here:

Reading Together® Te Pānui Ngātahi research summary

Reading Together® Te Pānui Ngātahi, (Reading Together®) is a research-based, four-session workshop programme that supports parents and whānau to effectively raise their children’s reading achievement.

Reading Together® is a proven programme that has a high impact on parents, children, school leadership, teachers, and the wider community. From participating in Reading Together® multiple valued outcomes occur for children, parents and whānau as well as for school and library communities.

To support the coming expansion of Reading Together® in the future, Pragmatica recently prepared an action-oriented research summary for Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga | Ministry of Education which describes ways schools implemented the programme effectively, including some challenges they overcame.

The report brings the evidence together to outline:

  • why Reading Together Te Pānui Ngātahi is a powerful educational opportunity

  • the programme outcomes for parents, whānau, aiga and children, and schools and communities

  • what works and doesn’t work for effective implementation

  • how schools can be supported to implement the programme.

The report also examines the support the Ministry of Education provided to schools in their implementation from 2007–2020.

The evaluation summary report can be found here.

An accompanying set of A3 infographics can be accessed here:

Talanoa Ako (PowerUP) case studies

Talanoa Ako (previously known as Pacific PowerUP) is an education programme for Pacific parents. Since 2013, it has helped Pacific parents and communities build their educational knowledge to support their children’s learning. The PowerUP model of engagement is strengths-based. It encourages parents, families and communities to take ownership of the programme.

From 2016 to 2019, PowerUP families shared their stories through the Guided Talanoa Series. 

The case studies can be found here.

Thriving Southland case study

Farmers are under increasing regulatory, environmental, economic and consumer pressures. Many want to better understand and respond to the environmental challenges they are experiencing on their farms. They are keen to access and interpret new relevant science. However, they face uncertainty around the timing and best ways of applying new environmental management rules and regulations.

Supported by Thriving Southland through the Change and Innovation Project, Southland farmers are working hard to make the changes necessary to continue their farming businesses into the future. In 2022, Pragmatica prepared a case study about their Change and Innovation Project which showcases learnings to date and the benefits to the Southland farming community from participating in Catchment Groups.

The 2022 case study can be found here.

A summary infographic can be found here.

In 2023, Pragmatica reviewed the progress of the programme. The latest 2023 case study shows how some farmers are becoming better equipped to address the challenges they are facing. By understanding the science that is specific to their catchment area they can make innovative farming decisions. 

The latest 2023 case study can be found here.

A summary infographic of the 2023 case study can be found here.

Rangiātea: case studies and exemplars / Māori education success

Rangiātea is a major research project that draws together a rich array of examples from five high-performing, mainstream secondary schools. The research and case exemplars explain practical ways to raise Māori student achievement. They show how to build effective relationships with whānau. They also explain how to set up sound positive leadership in secondary schools in Aotearoa New Zealand. Judy Oakden, Nan Wehipeihana, Kellie Spee and Kataraina Pipi, undertook this project.

Here is the Ministry of Education portal to Rangiātea – to access the five case studies and exemplars:

Leadership Practices Supporting Pasifika Student Success

Leadership Practices Supporting Pasifika Student Success is an important research project containing three case studies and exemplars from three secondary schools with high numbers of Pacific students. These schools are McAuley High School, De La Salle College and Otahuhu College. They show effective school leadership in mainstream secondary schools to support Pacific student achievement and success. Judy Oakden, Kellie Spee, Dr Ruth Toumu’a, Pale Sauni and Clark Tuagalu undertook this project.

The links to each of the case studies and exemplars from the Ministry of Education Te Kete Ipurangi (TKI) portal can be found here:

McCauley High School Case Study (PDF, 1 MB)
McCauley High School Exemplar (PDF, 289 kB)
De La Salle College Case Study (PDF, 1 MB)
De La Salle College Case Exemplar (PDF, 420 kB)
Otahuhu College Case Study (PDF, 1 MB)
Otahuhu College Exemplar (PDF, 581 kB)

Wellington’s knowledge economy — coming to grips with technology change

In response to concerns about the state of the economy and employment opportunities in the greater Wellington region, this research drew on the experience of 113 knowledge economy businesses. Judy Oakden had a key role in designing the process that supported Bachelor of Commerce students from Victoria University to conduct the survey between July and September 2013. From this work, Dr Richard Norman from Victoria Business School, and Judy Oakden prepared a report of findings for the Wellington Regional Council.