Social & Creative


Published Sep 13, 2021

Schools across Canterbury have signed up to KiVa, the bullying prevention programme, aiming to reduce the amount of bullying among young people. The Rātā Foundation has invested $70,000 to support a Canterbury Kāhui Ako to implement the KiVa programme over the next three years.  

Bullying is a problem for tamariki across New Zealand and recent international data ranks New Zealand as second to worst in the OECD for incidences of recurring bullying. Bullying has major consequences and some of these are lifelong – bullying can impact learning outcomes and wellbeing at school and can lead to depression, drug and alcohol abuse and anti-social behaviour in adulthood. 

Licensed by Wellington UniVentures, KiVa is an evidence-based anti-bullying programme, originally developed at the University of Turku in Finland to enhance child wellbeing in Finnish schools. Results from four years of implementation in New Zealand schools further validates its impact.  

KiVa Manager and Wellington UniVentures Senior Commercialisation Manager, Lisa McLennan explains: “KiVa offers a whole school approach targeting Years 2 to 10 and aims to prevent bullying before it happens by teaching tamariki how to manage bullying effectively. The programme is based on three main elements: prevention, intervention and monitoring. Over 60 schools across New Zealand have implemented KiVa and on average, these schools have noted a decrease in bullying by 25% after just one year1.”  

Rātā Foundation, which supports Canterbury-based organisations through their community investment programme, saw KiVa as an opportunity to further support youth development for tamariki across the region. 

Rātā Foundation Chief Executive, Leighton Evans, says: “Bullying is never ok. We need to see a culture change in our schools where bullying is simply unacceptable.  

“Supporting our young people to become confident and resilient participants in a range of life contexts is a very real focus for Rātā. The design of the KiVa programme enables collaboration across Kāhui Akos to share learnings and good practice around bullying prevention.”  

The KiVa team are currently working with Kāhui Akos across the region to get training underway. 

Find out more about the KiVa programme and how to introduce it to your school here.