New resources for raising tamariki Māori

Wed 14 Dec 2022

2 new books have been published sharing tikanga and mātauranga for childrearing to support whānau, and E Tū Whānau has created values booklets.

photo of a man with an infant sleeping on his chest

New resources for raising tamariki Māori

The recently published books from the Tiakina te Pā Harakeke project share tikanga and mātauranga for childrearing, with the aim of supporting whānau and growing wellbeing.

Since 2012, led by Leonie Pihama, Tiakina te Pā Harakeke – Raising a Treasured Child has investigated traditional knowledge, beliefs and practices of whānau and childrearing. The project looked at how communities can use these frameworks to support working with child abuse and neglect within whānau. The team focused on childrearing practices developed over generations in Māori communities based on understanding that tamariki are treasured.

Drawing on the mahi of the Tiakina te Pā Harakeke project, 2 books have been published to support whānau and grow wellbeing. The books focus on tikanga and mātauranga for childrearing.

Poipoia ngā tamariki: Māori proverbial sayings related to nurturing children (2022) is a book of more than 60 whakataukī showing traditional understanding and tikanga for raising children. The whakataukī have been selected by Leonie Pihama, Hineitimoana Greensill, Ngaropi Cameron-Raumati, Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Papahuia Dickson, Marjorie Beverland and Awhina Cameron. The book is published and sold by Tū Tama Wāhine o Taranaki. The book is a follow up to Taku Kuru Pounamu published in 2015, which shares a small selection of whakataukī.

Tiakina Te Pā Harakeke: Ancestral Knowledge and Tamariki Wellbeing (2022), edited by Jenny Lee-Morgan and Leonie Pihama, is a collection by Māori writers from throughout the motu about the values and tikanga of Māori childrearing developed by whānau over generations. The book is published by Huia and available from their website and bookstores. See the table of contents (abstracted from Amazon) including authors for each chapter:

  • Introduction – Leonie Pihama and Jenny Lee-Morgan
  • Taku kuru pounamu: Cherishing our children – Leonie Pihama
  • He raranga mātauranga: Weaving ancestral knowledge – Donna Campbell
  • Te taonga o taku ngākau: The wellbeing of tamariki within whānau – Leonie Pihama, Naomi Simmonds and Waikaremoana Waitoki
  • He mokopuna he tupuna – Ngaropi Cameron-Raumati
  • Whakatauākī: Sharing ancestral knowledge through generations – Hineitimoana Greensill, Leonie Pihama and Hōri Manuirirangi
  • Oriori: He akoranga tahito: Oriori as knowledge transmission – Glenis Philip-Barbara and Hiria Barbara
  • Tūī, tūī, tuituia: Pūrākau to keep us connected – Jenny Lee-Morgan
  • Mātauranga-ā-whānau: Intergenerational knowledge transmission through whānau pūrākau – Marjorie Beverland
  • Te kura mai i tawhiti: Ancestral knowledge and practice in Kaupapa Māori early years provision – Erana Hond-Flavell, Aroaro Tamati, Will Edwards, Ruakere Hond, Gareth J Treharne, Reremoana Theodore, Richie Poulton and Mihi Ratima
  • Aro ki te wairua o te hā: The spirituality of birth – Naomi Simmonds and Teah Carlson
  • Raranga wahakura: weaving wellbeing for mokopuna and whānau – Tanya White
  • Wahakura and te whare pora o Hine-te-iwaiwa: Delving deeply into te pā harakeke – David Tipene-Leach and Sally Abel
  • Oranga mokopuna: Ngā mōtika tangata whenua – Paula Toko King, Donna Cormack and Mark Kōpua
  • Whiti-te-rā: A Māori-centred therapeutic approach to wellbeing – Andre McLachlin and Waikaremoana Waitoki.

To learn more about the Tiakina te Pā Harakeke project, listen and watch Leonie Pihama talk about the inspiration for the project in a video from Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga.

To explore this kaupapa more, see the following resources:

Te Taonga o Taku Ngākau: Ancestral knowledge as a framework for tamariki wellbeing project explored mātauranga Māori in the development of evidence-based, cultural interventions to improve the mental health and wellbeing of young Māori. The team published Te Taonga o Taku Ngākau Ancestral Knowledge and the Wellbeing of Tamariki Māori report (2019). Video recordings are available from a mini conference and thought space wānanga about the project including kōrero from Taina Whakaatere Pōhatu, Dr Naomi Simmonds, Dr Waikaremoana Waitoki and Hinewirangi Kohu Morgan.

Traditional Māori parenting: an historical review of literature of traditional Māori child rearing practices in pre-European times (2011) was published by Te Kahui Mana Ririki. The literature review explores Māori parenting practices and the philosophy supporting these practices before 1642. It focused on socialisation and discipline.

E Tū Whānau published Our Ancestors, a series of five resources highlighting how Māori cultural traditions protect wāhine, tamariki and tāne from violence and uphold the mana of all. The topics of the 5 resources are:

  • Early observations of whānau
  • Our ancestors were loving parents
  • Our tāne ancestors were tender fathers
  • Our ancestors were innovative, entrepreneurial, problem solvers
  • Our wāhine ancestors were strong, influential and valued.

Update: Linda Tuhiwai Smith has published a series of illustrated books for tamariki. The pūrākau talk about difficult issues  such as suicide and family violence to help tamariki talk about and process trauma. They are available in both English and Te Reo Māori from Huia Publishers.

Related news: New resources from E Tū Whānau

E Tū Whānau published new values booklets. There are 6 values that sit at the heart of the E Tū Whānau kaupapa: aroha, whakapapa, whanaungatanga, kōrero awhi, mana manaaki and tikanga. Announcing the booklets, the E Tū Whānau Pānui Hakihea 2022 says "These values strengthened and protected our tīpuna, and they continue to fortify and sustain strong, thriving whānau today."

E Tū Whānau created a set of booklets about each of the values. For each value, the booklet gives a Kupu Arataki, talks about key principles and practices, and shares Whānau Kōrero, Whānau Mahi.

Download the booklets from the E Tū Whānau website:

Printed booklets can be ordered in 2023 on the E Tū Whānau website.

Subscribe to E Tū Whānau's pānui to stay up to date with their mahi.

Related media

Pukapuka celebrates beautiful family, Waatea News, 15.06.2023

Picture books help tamariki through trauma, Waatea News, 21.04.2023

Linda Tuhiwai Smith | critic of persistent colonialism in academic teaching and research, Waatea News, 20.04.2023

Evidence supports value of indigenous knowledge in maternity care, Te Hiringa Hauora | Health Promotion Agency news, 28.06.2022

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