In Common | Co-Designing with Tamariki, for Tamariki
Co-Designing with Tamariki, for Tamariki
In term 3, 2022, InCommon joined forces with a group of year 7 and 8 tamariki and their kaiako/teacher at Te Kura o Ōpāwaho/Opawa School in Ōtautahi Christchurch to co-design an activity that nudges tamariki to explore what they have in common with each other.

People, children and adults alike, often gravitate towards those who look like us. We do this because we assume we will have more in common with others who look, or sound, like us. But this means we might miss out on opportunities for friendships, and it can make others feel like they don't belong or aren't welcome. So, we’re stoked to have received support from the Mental Health Foundation and the Pink Shirt Day kaupapa to bring this resource to classrooms around Aotearoa.

Our project team consisted of Holly Griffin, InCommon Project Manager, Eileen Yee, Ministry of Ethnic Communities and InCommon Working Group member, Emily Arps, Te Whatu Ora and InCommon Working Group member, Danna Robson, tikanga Māori expert and teacher at Kaiapoi High School, alongside our Tamariki Design Group and Kaiako, Amy Thompson, from Te Kura o Ōpāwaho.

Using co-design principles developed for working with tamariki by Dutch researchers and the Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands published in ‘Your Turn for the Teacher’ (check it out here:, our Tamariki Design Group and project team ran five co-design sessions and two pilots of the resulting activities with two classes of year 7 and 8 students at Te Kura o Ōpāwaho and one class of year 9 students at Kaiapoi High School.

It was important to us to use a design process that centered tamariki in the creation of the activity – they are the experts in what will work for tamariki after all! It was a creative, exciting, and at times, messy process! As our first project working with tamariki we learnt a great deal and really value the relationships we formed with the tamariki and Te Kura o Ōpāwaho.

As should be the case with the outcomes of a co-design project we ended up in a place we hadn’t anticipated – with two quiz activities. But our design and piloting process was clear – our tamariki told us they’re both necessary!

One activity – What’s in Common? – is available for download on our website:

The second activity – Let’s Connect – requires professional printing (it has stickers embedded!) and is available for order. Get in touch at for details. We recommend schools consider this special activity during Unity Week (March 15 – 21) and on Pink Shirt Day (September 2023).

Ngā mihi nui, thank you to everyone involved in this project, including our InCommon Advisory Group member Liz Kereru and the kaumātua of Ngāi Tūāhuriri for leading the festivities at the celebration event in November 2022 and Whaea Tracy Te Hemi for leading the tamariki in a beautiful kapa haka performance.

Check out some videos and the What’s in Common? activity here: