Workshop Hikitia — Ka pai ahau!


This wānanga topic is based on the concept of ‘Ka pai ahau!’ It focuses on  the healthy growth and development of pēpi, and the understanding that ‘the children of today are the chiefs of tomorrow’.

Tū rangatira (child development)

Each wānanga is part of the whānau journey through their child’s development. Every session builds on the previous wānanga and prepares whānau for the next one. Wānanga should also build and strengthen the relationships between the whānau attending.

Taumauri: Mana tangata

The underlying philosophy of this wānanga is based on the Āhuru Mōwai principle ‘mana tangata’. This means encouraging whānau to create an environment where their children are continuously affirmed for who they are: their unique personalities, talents and characteristics.

Kaha and māiatanga

Use these terms (meaning ‘strength’ and ‘confidence’), and embrace and uphold them in this wānanga.

Whakawhanaungatanga: whakatuwhera, whakatau, mihimihi

Welcome whānau as they arrive, and offer them a cup of tea and refreshments. Provide a parent-and-child–friendly venue, so whānau and tamariki feel comfortable.

Continue to build whanaungatanga within the group. Encourage the whānau to mix and mingle.

Introduction to the session

Open with a karakia and a waiata — your own, or one of the ones provided. Then give an overview of the session. Emphasise that this hui will centre on the importance of:

  • whānau kaha: strengths, temperament, capabilities and confidence
  • te whare tapa whā
  • ngā tohu whānau
  • baby’s developmental stage.


Within the context of Āhuru Mōwai, caregivers are essential to the development of the child’s unique abilities and traits (Āhuru Mōwai, page 22)Opens in new window.

Start with a presentation on developmental stages (use the SKIP Whakatipu booklets Te Kākano, Te Pihinga, Te Kōhuri, and Te Māhuri) and domains (language, social–emotional, motor and cognitive).

Use the Whakatipu booklet sections titled ‘Pēpi says’, which cover baby’s development phases. Identify and highlight one particular aspect of motor development in each booklet, starting from Te Kākano. Ask for input and comments from the group.

Then ask whānau to choose the book that relates to the age of their pēpi. Help them to work through the information and understand what it means. Remind whānau that all pēpi are unique, so comparing their development with other children isn’t always helpful.

However, it is very important for whānau to:

  • watch their pēpi carefully
  • understand what stage pēpi is going through
  • help and encourage pēpi’s progress.

Pēpi need many things to help them achieve their potential in life. They especially need whānau who are available to them and who have positive aspirations for them. Immediate whānau have the most influence on how their pēpi will perceive the world and relate to others, and on their child’s life path.

In pairs or as a small group, focus on the ‘Ngā tohu whānau’ poster. Talk to each other about the strengths within each participant’s wider whānau.

You could ask:

  • How did these influence you?
  • What are your personal strengths?
  • How will you influence your pēpi?

Learn and teach waiata that will get the tamaiti moving:

  • Pakipaki o ringa
  • Waewae whiua


Explain the following whakataukī and encourage whānau to have a 2-minute discussion about its meaning.

‘Hutia te rito o te harakeke, kei whea te kōmako e kō? Kī mai koe ki ahau, he aha te mea nui o te ao? Māku e kī atu, he tāngata, he tāngata, he tāngata.’

‘If you pluck out the centre of the flax plant, where will the bellbird sing? If you ask me, “What is the greatest thing in the world?” I will say to you, it is people, it is people, it is people.’


One model for understanding Māori health and wellbeing is the concept of ‘te whare tapa whā’ — the 4 cornerstones (or sides) of Māori health.

To help whānau to visualise the cornerstones, have each person make a collage poster. Ask them to cut out magazine pictures that reflect what their whare tapa whā looks like. The pictures could represent:

  • te taha whānau (family)
  • te taha wairua (spirit)
  • te taha tinana (body)
  • te taha hinengaro (mind).

Holistic development needs a balance of these four components.

Holistic development

Now have the participants consider and talk about their baby’s development, including ōna taha e whā:

  • Taha tinana (healthy body) — Think about their:
    • physical body
    • motor development
    • growth
    • exercise
    • food
    • rest.
  • Taha hinengaro (healthy mind) — Think about their:
    • need for understanding
    • need for love
    • need for caring
    • emotions
    • need for a trusted environment.
  • Taha wairua (healthy spirit) — Think about their:
    • need for inspiration
    • self-awareness
    • energy
    • life force
    • essence.
  • Taha whānau (healthy family) — Think about their:
    • birth
    • need for belonging
    • endurance
    • strength
    • need for support
    • need for respect
    • need for protection
    • need for shelter.


Bring everyone together for closing. Offer an opportunity for whānau to share their collage if they want to, and an opportunity to give feedback on their experience of the session.

Reflect on the kaupapa of this hui: ‘Ka pai ahau!’ Then close with a karakia and a waiata — your own or one of the ones provided.



  • flipchart
  • A3 size paper
  • marker pens
  • sticky notes (for example, Post-its®)
  • a variety of magazines for collage
  • PVA glue
  • glue-sticks
  • sticky tape
  • scissors
  • craft materials — for example, glitter and coloured card.

Other resources

  • Māui app

Home visiting pages


Whakamarama (Glossary)Opens in new window