National Moderator's Reports

Feb 2020

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The following report gives feedback to assist assessors with general issues and trends that have been identified during external moderation of the internal Te Reo Māori standards in 2019.

It does not clarify specific standards but provides further insights from moderation material viewed throughout the year.


Awarding Excellence

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When making judgement for Excellence, it needs to be ensured that all indicators of the Excellence criteria in the standard have been fully addressed. These are outlined in the Explanatory notes. The quality of evidence provided should also reflect the curriculum level.  If the evidence demonstrates that the Excellence criteria have been only partially met, then the grade awarded cannot be Excellence. This is critical in distinguishing between high Merit and Excellence.

Consideration also needs to be given to the overall submission, such as succinctness and clarity.

Students achieving Excellence in 91288 (2.5) and 91654 (3.5) produce writing that is controlled and fluent. Their writing holds the attention of the intended audience. Typically, this is shown through a distinctive personal voice, giving different perspectives or offering opinions to persuade or influence the intended audience.

Relevant information or ideas are fully developed and sustained throughout the writing. Ideas are integrated in an effective structure that fully meets the requirements of the task. Vocabulary and language features are used deliberately. Whakataukī are explained so there is a clear connection to the text.

Collecting evidence

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Opportunities are encouraged that allow students to collect evidence through different modes such as blogs, video clips, etc. Such opportunities allow students to have agency on how best to demonstrate what they know. 

For moderation of all Te Reo Māori speaking standards, evidence need(s) to be visually recorded. The recording needs to be without breaks to ensure the integrity of the speaking performance or interaction.

Student wellbeing

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Where students are guided in how to present their evidence succinctly, the quality of their responses improves. When students are aware of the concept that quantity is not an indicator of quality, this also helps to reduce workload pressures.

In terms of student wellbeing, it is also timely to consider the importance of positive contexts and guidance regarding potentially ‘dark themes’ or inappropriate material. While the need for self-expression and realism is not disputed, the mental and physical wellbeing of students in their learning and assessment should be a significant consideration in programmes.

Evidence of inappropriate material is not seen in Te Reo Māori moderation.

Assessor Support

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The Best Practice Workshops (online and face-to-face) offered by the Assessment and Moderation Team continue to be viewed by the sector as significantly contributing to improved assessor practice:

"The workshop helped to review my own knowledge, and great to share ideas."

"It was great having time to challenge my thinking in assessment."

Based on the success of the ‘on request’ model and the ability to have targeted support, the Assessment and Moderation Team will continue delivering this support model in 2020. Workshops or presentation slots can be requested to provide targeted support to regional or national audiences.

Additionally, we will continue to run the generic Transforming Assessment Praxis Programme, an online programme which helps assessors learn about re-contextualising assessment resources and collecting evidence in different ways to better meet the needs of their learners.

More detailed information, including how to request or register for a workshop, can be found on our Best Practice Workshop pages or by emailing

In 2019, the focus was on responding to teacher requests for workshops on other crafted writing standards and recontextualising whakarongo assessment resource activities. 2020 workshops will respond to requests made by the sector.

Research topics

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Successful students show that they have processed research information in a meaningful way. Examples include showing an ability to analyse, interpret, challenge, explain and evaluate the collected information. These students move beyond simply giving information or describing. Successful assessment materials/tasks ensure there is enough substance and opportunity to explore and justify perspectives and demonstrate language at the expected level.

For 91288 (2.5) and 91654 (3.5) - the topics that require research, discussing a local issue or a significant national leader or event - students providing effective responses showed their ability to analyse or evaluate the research material. Their deeper understanding of the information enabled them to express and justify a personal point of view.

Simple recounting of events or facts on the topic is insufficient to produce the quality required for achievement. For example, a discussion of the significance of the occupation of Takaparawhā rather than a summary of events that occurred.

The TKI tasks guide students to give reasons for the selection of the topic and to reflect on why it is considered to be nationally significant. This support guides students to express and support a personal opinion, and may encourage them to discuss the opinions or perspectives of other people.

Guidelines concerning expectations of the development and justification of ideas are given in the Clarifications for 91288 and 91654, which can be accessed from the Te Reo Māori subject page on the NZQA website.

Observations from selected standards

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When students achieve the Waihanga Tuhinga standards - 91089 (1.5), 91288 (2.5) and 91654 (3.5) - they show understanding of what “crafted” writing means. They include evidence for the stages of writing, such as brainstorming, outlining, revising and proof-reading to produce the final versions. Where students have completed a portfolio, only two pieces of evidence need to be completed to a publication stage for assessment.

Submissions that are not yet at the standard commonly show little indication of crafting. There are also issues with syntax/word order for students who completed an entire piece of writing in English and then translated this text into Te reo Māori.

When submitting evidence for the receptive listening standards - Whakarongo standards 91085 (1.5), 91284 (2.5), 91650 (3.5) - the complete assessment resource activity is required. This includes the assessor transcripts or URL, and the assessment schedule for each task. This must include the expected student responses for each level of achievement.


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Outcome statements in external moderation reports

In 2017, moderation report outcome statements changed from ‘Confidence’ statements to ‘Consistency’ statements, as explained in an NZQA Circular at the time.

The previous FOUR ‘Confidence’ statements were changed to THREE Consistency statements. This reduction in the number of categories of statement has, in some cases, resulted in moderation report outcomes previously noted as ‘Confident’ now being noted as ‘Not Yet Consistent’.

It is important to recognise that ‘Not Yet Consistent’ does not imply major issues on the part of the assessor, but that the aspects highlighted can be easily addressed through the advice given in the report.

Updated Clarifications

The clarifications for 91089 (1.5) and 91288 (2.5) have been updated.

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