Dissemination of ancestral knowledge by a range of methods to improve the health and wellbeing of children

Associate Professor Leonie Pihama, Tu Tama Wahine o Taranaki

‘Poipoia Ngā Tamariki’ means ‘nurture our children’. It builds on previous research, funded by Cure Kids and A Better Start in 2017, which investigated mātauranga Māori (knowledge), reo (language), and tikanga (practices) relating to childrearing.  This research showed that traditional Māori society valued children as taonga (treasures), and had a framework of mātauranga, tikanga, and reo which provided clear guidance for raising them through collective care and responsibility.

The first aim of the current project is to continue the investigation, including into traditional systems of intergenerational knowledge transfer. The second is to provide this evidence-based knowledge to whānau, hapū, iwi, policy-makers, educators, healthcare providers, and other child-focused organisations, and therefore inform their efforts to improve the lives of tamariki Māori. The research promotes positive strengths-based cultural approaches to support whānau to be self-determining, and to inform the wider social debate.

Researchers will share their findings in a range of accessible formats, including some te reo Māori materials: academic articles and publications, a book of whakatauki, briefing papers, bilingual infographics, posters, webinars, and short video clips.