With vocation level programmes of the tertiary sector in Aotearoa New Zealand entering a new era of strategic visioning, one of the aims for educators is to seek ways to improve the educational engagement and success of Māori learners. Revitalising Māori teaching and learning pedagogies, like the tuakana–teina pedagogy, has been touted as a positive strategy for educators to achieve such interactions with their Māori learners. In doing so, we are prompted to remember the deeds of magical Māui, the teina of the Māui brothers of ancient Māori mythology. As the youngest brother, Māui had a tempestuous relationship with his older brothers, but he managed to negotiate and mediate certain positions so that they achieved wondrous tasks. Māui's exploits are refl ected upon as a guide to new interpretations and applications of tuakana–teina relationships in foundation level programmes of adult education. Four messages are discussed in this position paper; remembering the tuakana–teina pedagogy, creating "spaces" to talk about tuakana–teina, and exploring blended forms of the tuakana–teina pedagogy. The last message is cautionary urging educationalists to consider the end goals of the tuakana–teina interaction. By revisiting the kaupapa Māori (Māori principles of shared values, beliefs and philosophies) will enhance the educational achievement of adult Māori learners.