Tamariki will continue to benefit from KiVa

Published Nov 15, 2022

The KiVa anti-bullying programme will continue uninterrupted in participating schools across New Zealand, following a successful transition of its license from Wellington UniVentures to the Elephant Trust.

The newly established Trust will take over the license agreement at the end of this year. As former KiVa Programme Manager at Wellington UniVentures, the Trust’s founder, Kieu Pham, is uniquely well-positioned to facilitate a seamless transition.

“The most important thing is that there won’t be any disruption to staff or students in the schools and kura who are implementing KiVa,” says Kieu. “We didn’t want anything to get in the way of those who are being proactive in addressing this important issue.”

KiVa is a bullying prevention programme developed in Finland but used around the world. Wellington UniVentures brought KiVa to New Zealand in 2014 when it negotiated the original license deal with the Finnish provider, University of Turku. Since that time, Wellington UniVentures has introduced the programme in up to 60 schools across the country.

KiVa’s evidence-based approach has been found to be effective in schools worldwide. In New Zealand, results from student surveys show a consistent decrease in bullying in KiVa schools, with an average 25% reduction of bullying incidents following its first year of implementation. International research shows that KiVa’s proven ability to make schools a safer and happier place for tamariki is needed in New Zealand, which has one of the worst records on childhood bullying in the developed world.

Wellington UniVentures’ Head of Social and Creative, Kathleen Wright, says “We wanted to do everything we could to set KiVa up for future success and transitioning to a safe pair of hands at the Elephant Trust is ideal,” says Kathleen.

With KiVa’s future in New Zealand safe, Kieu hopes to see the programme continue to grow. “Ideally, we’d like to see KiVa made available to every school or kura in Aotearoa because we know there’s a strong need for bullying prevention measures, and we know that KiVa works” says Kieu.

Kathleen adds “We are absolutely delighted that the Elephant Trust has taken over running the programme. This gives KiVa the best chance to make a difference for New Zealand tamariki. We wish the Elephant Trust and participating KiVa schools and kura the absolute best.”

People can get in contact with the Elephant Trust by emailing kiaora@elephanttrust.org.nz or visiting www.elephanttrust.org.nz