In 2021 Professor Papaarangi Reid, at The University of Melbourne, shared the ancient proverb “I ngā rā o mua”, translated to mean “before we know where we are going, we must know where we have come from”. This proverb sets the tone for discussing the Arts in the New Zealand curriculum, as during radical upheaval and social change as being experienced in the pandemic, we are forced to examine activities to reflect and discover anew the road ahead (Lindley, et al., 2021; Wood, et al., 2021). This is a critical inflection point for redefining the future of New Zealand Arts Education, as it coincides with the current New Zealand Curriculum (Ministry of Education [MoE], 2007) refresh (MoE, 2021). This research informed paper advocates for mātauranga Māori and te ao Māori in the Arts curriculum to ensure distinctive, bold transformational learning opportunities are experienced by learners within the education system. This article suggests the values of interconnectedness, intergenerational purpose and improvisation can dismantle disciplinary boundaries and offer a critical frame to reconsider a forward-focused Arts curriculum.
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