About Kōkiri

Kuao Edmond Langsbury (1935-2017)
Kāi Tahu
Former Upoko Rūnaka o Ōtākou, member of the Ngāi Tahu Māori Trust Board, businessman and one of the founders of Arai Te Uru Kōkiri Trust.

The history of Kōkiri

Arai Te Uru Kōkiri Training Centre (Kōkiri) has provided education, training and support in a kaupapa Māori environment since 1983.

Kōkiri was an initiative of a few of the dedicated members of the Araiteuru Marae Council in Ōtepoti, New Zealand. It was originally formed to provide a work skills programme for the many young unemployed Māori at that particular time.

Originally an Incorporated Society, it was restructured as a Charitable Trust in 2011.

Throughout the intervening years, Kōkiri has always adapted to the changing and challenging economic and political environment to provide a variety of high quality educational and training programmes.

Kōkiri has never lost sight of who we are, and why we exist. As laid out in the Trust Deed, our mission is to promote the advancement of education and vocational training and the care, support, and development of all people in our community.

Today, we are the only remaining Māori Private Training Establishment (PTE) south of Christchurch. Education and vocational training is delivered through holistic and integrated programmes in a kaupapa Māori environment. This way we can accommodate the needs of all tauira, and in particular the Māori and Pasifika community.

It's this approach that gives Kōkiri a very unique point of difference to other organisations and speaks to its success and longevity in our community.

He aha te mea nui o tenei ao, he Tangata, he tangata, he tangata

What is the most important thing in the world, it is the people, the people, the people

He moemoeā Our vision

Arai Te Uru Kōkiri Training Centre provides a kaupapa Māori pathway for education success and parity for Māori and for others wishing to learn in a kaupapa Māori environment.

We do this by embracing te reo me ōna tikanga Māori and by nurturing our connections through whakapapa. At all times, we uphold the kawa of kā Papatipu Rūnaka o Arai Te Uru.

Ka uara — Our values


We demonstrate strong leadership, good governance, transparent decision-making and work together as a team to achieve our goals.


We behave in a way that is tika and that enhances the mana of our tauira and the wider hāpori.


We will respect the kaitiaki interests of mana whenua and uphold respect for the landscape and associated taonga for future generations.


Our decisions foster unity amongst the trustees, kaimahi, tauira and hāpori.


We celebrate the spiritual dimension of Te Ao Māori.


We involve our people in decision making processes, the pathways available to our tauira and keep them informed of activities that affect them. We will respect our relationships and community connections and the responsibilities that go with this.

Ahi kaa

We acknowledge the place and traditions of mana whenua within the Kāi Tahu takiwā.

See what we do

A woman and a young girl making a cake together in a kitchen

Certificate in Whanau Ora (Level 3)

Two women sitting on a couch looking at each other and smiling

Whanau Ora Navigator Programme