Our research work

Here is a selection of published research projects:

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.


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.