The government is to overhaul the school curriculum over the next three to four years.
It says this year's rewrite of the New Zealand history curriculum will be followed by English, maths and science next year.
The changes will make clearer what children need to know in each subject.
The changes also seek to balance learning that is important nationally with what is relevant locally and to prioritise professional learning and development.
"I know parents, teachers and whānau want more certainty about what tamariki need to learn in schools and kura - their progress, strengths and where support is needed - through a curriculum that focuses on wellbeing, identities, language and culture," Associate Education Minister Jan Tinetti said in a statement.
She said she is aware of the challenges that teachers are facing.
"These changes seek to reduce teacher workload by providing greater clarity and guidance on what to teach and when. They will help teachers to plan and deliver engaging learning experiences that mean all our tamariki progress and meet their key milestones."
Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis said in a statement that the most important shift was to address equity, trust and coherence through integrating the He Tamaiti Hei Raukura framework.
"Ākonga need to learn from a curriculum that is rich in te reo and tikanga Māori, is meaningful to them and their whānau, and equips our tamariki with the skills and wellbeing they need in this ever-changing world," he said.
The announcement follows criticism of the curriculum from the Principals' Federation.
The body representing primary and intermediate school principals says changes are needed to arrest slipping results in national and international tests.