The application form is here

The Manaiakalani Programme has gained national and international credibility as an innovative approach to ensuring the foundation requirements of schooling are being met whilst offering young people the opportunity to learn in an environment which recognises the special character of our children as digital citizens whose world is very different from their teachers at the same age.

Over the ten years of the Manaiakalani Innovative Teacher programme we have had teachers who have taken this opportunity to investigate ways to accelerate learning outcomes for our young people via the Manaiakalani pedagogy. The most successful MIT projects have subsequently become the foundation of classroom implementation for colleagues within Manaiakalani and around New Zealand. The Manaiakalani Education Trust is keen to support teachers who are challenging their own teaching practice through inquiring into innovative ways to meet our cluster goals and provide inspiration to their colleagues. To quote Michael Fullan 2/11/16, we are looking for "purposeful, focused and disciplined innovation".

In 2023 we are specifically looking for teachers who are excited about working with colleagues through a design thinking process to bring innovative solutions to a challenge they have identified in their own class, school or cluster.

The Manaiakalani Education Trust is interested in supporting innovation that will contribute solutions to challenges that have been identified by educators and researchers in our wider community of learning. We are particularly interested in applications relating to:

  • Reading - at all year levels and across the curriculum

  • Critical literacy or critical thinking.

  • Secondary Literacy or Maths at NCEA level.

  • Ubiquitous and Visible learning connecting school and home

  • Harnessing digital to connect whanau with learning.

We are interested in innovation in areas we may not have considered, so by all means, present them through your application.

We are an evidence based programme and expect applicants will be willing to gather data, to interact with the findings of the WFRC and Manaiakalani Researchers, and to align with the data gathered by their own school. Teaching as Inquiry is one aspect of this evidence gathering.

MIT-23 recipients will design a tool* to support their innovation, and through this accelerate achievement for their tamariki.

*tool suggestions could include: a database, a system, an app, a podcast, a programme, a radio show, an online portal etc etc

The Manaiakalani Education Trust, along with our corporate partner KMPG, provides substantial support for the successful applicants. MIT-23 teachers will enjoy being part of a professional learning group where they receive; mentoring, growth opportunities, face to face and online collaboration, release from teaching to participate in events throughout the year and to work on their projects, opportunities to grow presentation skills locally and overseas, and an interested audience to share their progress with.

A sense of adventure and an open to learning attitude is a distinct advantage.

I understand that innovation through design thinking with MIT-23 expects solutions that could NOT have been achieved without digital technologies.

I have looked closely at the previous years of Manaiakalani Innovative Teachers and checked that I am not repeating something from the past. We are not looking to fund a repeat of past MIT projects.

NB: We welcome projects which build on previously successful inquiries and extend or enrich the innovation.


To provide an opportunity for innovative teachers to form a network for support and mentoring as they continue to explore ways to enrich the lives and learning of the young people they work with, their whānau and the wider community.

MIT-23 teachers will

  • use our Learn Create Share pedagogy in their own journey of innovation

  • present to Manaiakalani colleagues via the Online Toolkits series

  • present to their Manaiakalani colleagues at the annual Wānanga 27 October 2023

  • present to the wider education community at a conference in the July or October School holidays, 2023

  • use a public blog for ongoing sharing and reflection

Submission process:

Closes Tuesday November 1st 2023 5pm

The application process will include seeking your agreement for your principal to be contacted by the panel to verify that you are an effective teacher within your school.

There will be a formal interview process for short-listed applicants with the panel including Dorothy Burt (MIT-23 Cheer Leader), Jenny Oxley (Manaiakalani Education Trust), Matt Goodwin (Manaiakalani Facilitator), Justine Todd (KPMG partner)

Date of interviews: Monday November 14th - all short listed applicants will be interviewed via Google Meet

If possible the MIT-23 cohort will include a range of educators/ innovative projects to represent educators from each sector in our cluster

ie Years 1-3, Years 4-6, Years 7-8, Years 9-10, Years 11-13

Conditions of Participation

  • Agree to model "Learn Create Share" both in work with learners and throughout the MIT-23 year

  • Outcomes to be publicly available online

  • Reflections to be available to Manaiakalani Online community, PLD team, MET, Principals and research team

  • Targets to be set and met each term in negotiation with MIT-23 leaders

  • Availability to attend and share at agreed hui and conferences - these will include overnight stays, and one will potentially require a current passport and vaccinations!

  • Release time each term to attend MIT-23 network sessions 1 x day each term, in Auckland

  • Release from class to focus on project 2 x days each term

  • Willingness to embrace opportunities to grow presentation skills locally and overseas


Manaiakalani Education Trust is offering up to 7 selected innovative teachers from the Manaiakalani Network the opportunity to

  • design an innovative tool to enhance their inquiry into a 'wicked problem' impacting learner achievement in 2023

  • design and implement this tool within their school environment (two days per term release)

  • receive ongoing mentoring

  • form a collegial network (one day per term release)

  • grow presentation skills locally and overseas

School leaders (APs, DPs, Principals, HoDs, Team Leaders) are also invited to apply to join this group as they inquire into innovative ways of changing teacher practice as they implement the Manaiakalani pedagogy.

Dates for 2023

Connect Hui Overnight: Hui 3 days 2-4 March 2023 Travel after school Thurs 2nd, all day Friday 3rd , end lunch Saturday 4th March, travel home at leisure.

Network Meeting Days: 27 March, 22 May , 28 August , 20 November (all Mondays)

Wānanga Friday October 27th 2023

Conference School Holidays, 3 days TBA, likely to include Oct 1st and 2nd

Release days organise yourself