A new Maori education group says iwi are sleeping giants that have woken up to help tamariki do better at school.
Tribes have recently established the Iwi Education Authority, which currently represents 23 Maori- language kura.
One of the authority's kaupapa is to create excellence - for pupils and teachers.
Its chairperson, Pem Bird, says the characteristics of excellence are values, attitude, skill, knowledge and relationships.
He says iwi are becoming more powerful and organised and that is helping Maori children to achieve in class.
Mr Bird says iwi are making their presence felt economically and are now focussing - not before time - some attention on their children and grandchildren at schools.