In every Whakatipu booklet there is a Kaitiaki pēpi section which explores aspects of tikanga Māori and how it relates to this stage of child development.

The Kaitiaki pēpi topics are listed in the supporting information. These topics reflect a Māori world view but they may also be relevant to people of other cultures and ethnicities who share similar tikanga. They might also be applicable across a wider range of age groups.

A child develops rapidly between the ages of 2 and 3, and really begins to express their independence and individuality. Positive relationships are key.

He aha te mea nui o te ao?

He tangata, he tangata, he tangata.

What is the most important thing in the world?

It is people, it is people.

This whakataukī reminds us that our relationships with other people are really important. People need one another to survive. Mokopuna in particular rely on the adults around them for their continuing development and well-being.

Developing character

Nau i whatu te kākahu, he tāniko tāku.

The cloak is woven before the ornamental border is added.

This whakataukī relates to the nature/nurture concept. The genetics (nature) of a child are the cloak and the ornamental border (nurture) is the influence the environment has on them. This proverb is a reminder about the responsibility parents and whänau have in shaping the character of their tamariki.

This message aligns with many others conveyed through traditional whakataukī which highlight the importance of the nurture and care of mokopuna.

They are important taonga and not only to their parents and whānau but to the wider hapū, and iwi.

Keeping mokopuna safe

Because mokopuna were seen as the future of their tribe so their safety and well-being was paramount. Their development, care and well-being were considered a collective responsibility and therefore shared by the wider whänau and hapü.

It is still just as important today for parents, whānau and the wider community to share the responsibility for keeping all mokopuna safe.

The supporting information gives more background on the topics, while the session notes offer ideas for introducing the topics to whānau.

People accessing this resource (and the whānau they are working with) will come from a wide range of different backgrounds and experiences. Identity, connection to Māori culture, as well as knowledge of tikanga and te reo Māori varies greatly from person to person.

Take your cue from each whānau to guide you on where to begin your conversations with them.

See the links below to additional information for more about these topics. Exploring this information will help to reinforce the concepts and may also increase your own knowledge and understanding.

Further Information

Joan Metge: New growth from old — The whānau in the modern world, Victoria University Press, Wellington.

This book provides basic information for the many Pākehā who interact with Māori as spouses, friends, work colleagues and service providers, to help them understand a family type different from their own.

Other related external links