Accredited Kaihautū

MSpecTch, BEd, DipTchPri

Contact details
P: 07 307 1467
M: 0277078855
Accreditation Number: 994
Region: Waikato, Bay of Plenty


Professional experience

Ko Taupiri tōku ahuru mowai, ko Waikato tōku puna aroha, ko Duchess of Argyll te waka, ko Ngāti Pākehā te iwi, ko Koterana te iwi hoki, he tangata Tiriti ahau, ko Lesleigh Henderson tāku ingoa.

Originally primary trained and with experience in secondary schools, I have worked in a range of roles within education including as a Te Kotahitanga Facilitator for Waikato University for five years and as a resource teacher of learning and behaviour. I am currently working in primary, secondary and area schools as a kaihautū/facilitator in a number of regions. Working with a range of tools, from a range of initiatives including Kia Eke Pānuku, He Kākanō and Te Kotahitanga, I assist schools to engage in reflective, evidence-based, problem-solving processes which support critical conversations which are both collaborative and solution focused. School leaders and teachers are supported to collaboratively build their cultural capability and engage in courageous practice which supports transformative praxis.

I am committed to listening, and responding to, schools’ needs within their particular context. I work within relational and culturally responsive approaches, based upon Kaupapa Māori theory, to develop Professional Learning and Development that develops critical consciousness and inclusive practices.

In 2019 I completed my Masters in Specialist Teaching where I undertook in-school research in the area of Primary School Principals’ expertise and experiences developing, spreading, and embedding culturally responsive and relational pedagogy. This focus was promoted by the fact primary schools were not included in the implementation of Te Kotahitanga, He Kākanō or Kia Eke Pānuku, yet are striving to enact Ka Hikitia, the Māori Education Strategy, meaningfully in their school communities.

High trust relationships are central to effective engagement in PLD. Culturally Facilitation which builds capacity for people to access tools and practices which aid reflective growth and sustainable change is pivotal to effective professional development and learning. These tenets inform my praxis.



Lesleigh has expertise in the following areas:

  • Developing high trust in diverse contexts through relational pedagogy
  • Modelling and developing culturally responsive pedagogy to bring life to Ka Hikitia
  • Facilitation through communication, team-work and effective interpersonal skills
  • Collaborative leadership including mentoring, supervision, and coaching
  • Analysis and interpretation of data to support collaborative goal setting, review, and success
  • Expertise with a range of tools for observation, learning conversations, analysis, shadow coaching and review


Culturally responsive practice- Cultural Capability

Lesleigh is able to lead Kura/Schools/Kahui Ako to:

  • Develop high trust relationships which support effective engagement in professional learning and development
  • Engage in evidence-based inquiry exploring current theorising and practice
  • Consider inclusive, culturally responsive practice within the area of specialist teaching area, particularly as it relates to Māori student success
  • Collect a variety of evidence of current pedagogical practice in order to reflect on their provision of culturally responsive and sustainable education. This includes perception data from surveys, classroom observations and critical learning conversations in order to identify a focus for inquiry focused on improvement for Māori learners.
  • Establish and maintain shadow coaching partnerships, which provide ongoing support and challenge for teachers and leaders in their learning, unlearning and relearning
  • Use evidence as the basis to develop and implement potential-focused action plans to build their capacity and capability in culturally responsive and relational practices.
  • Support teachers and leaders to access tools and practices which aid reflective growth and transformative and sustainable change within their practice


Assessment for learning

Lesleigh is be able lead kura to:

  • Support the establishment of a culture which values assessment as a means of self-knowledge and evidence for reflection and growth
  • Consider types of evidence which is assessed through the lens of cultural capital and the cultural toolkit of learners
  • Inquire into the what are appropriate types of evidence to collect and the co-construction of criteria
  • Reflect upon what, how and why we assess
  • Explore what culturally responsive and relational assessment looks like, sounds like, feels like and acts like.


Collaborative practice, mentoring and coaching

Lesleigh is be able lead kura to:

  • Engage in a process which is underpinned by the tenet that the preservation of mana through manaakitanga (generosity),utu (reciprocity) and aroha (love) are crucial to the professional partnership (Ratima & Grant, 2007)
  • Support reflection at both the personal and professional level through invitational leadership (Stoll, Fink & Earl, 2003) as a way to be able to critique and understand our biases, political constructs and personal values so we can enhance our ability to be equitable and inclusive, including through our practice to support Māori success in education



2013 Kairaranga Journal December 2013 "Māori Potential: Barriers to Creating Culturally-Responsive Learning Environments in Aotearoa/New Zealand: Te Timatanga O Te Ara - Kei Whea Te Ara?"

2019 Manuscript in preparation “Culturally Responsive Leadership for Primary School Principals in Aotearoa”


Conference presentations

2014 International Inclusive Education Conference in Braga, Portugal: Embracing Inclusive Approaches for Children and Youth with Special Education Needs. “The cultural capital of diversity or the deficit of disability- Language and the power for change” co-presenter T Harris

2011 Career Development Association of Australia (CDAA) International Conference, Cairns, Australia; “Career Education, is it everybody’s job?” co-presenter S Osborne

2009 CATE International Conference, Wellington Aotearoa NZ- Unleashing Potential:
Co-Presented two workshops; “Effective Careers Leadership in Secondary Schools” in partnerships with Otago and Canterbury Universities and “Listening, learning, and leading: meeting Māori and Pasifika student needs” in partnership with Auckland University

2008 CATE National Conference, New Plymouth NZ “Education Initiatives, Integration & Shared Purpose”

Lesleigh Harris, Accredited Kaihautū of Te Āwheonui

Lesleigh Harris, Accredited Kaihautū of Te Āwheonui

Whakapā mai

Contact us

Lesleigh Harris
Accredited Kaihautū - Te Āwheonui