Ko Wai Mātou?

Tupuna Nanny laughing with moko

Nau mai, Haere Mai

Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou kua tae mai nei i tenei kaupapa o te rā.

Greetings to you all who have come here!

Our Vision

To share the gentle and respectful parenting of tūpuna Māori to help raise the rangatira of tomorrow.

Our Team

Tūpuna Parenting is a movement about whānau, it’s grounded in our whakapapa.

The movement is led by the whānau at Pēpi Penapena (Cherish Babies). Founders Elizabeth and Hirini are inspired by both their parents, Helen Mountain Harte (1942-2019) and Dr Hone Kaa (1943-2012). Our tūpuna surround us and support us in this mahi. We have the mātauranga, and the skills to share it across the motu.

And we will.

Headshot of Elizabeth Emere Harte
Elizabeth Emere Harte MEngSc

Chief Executive Officer – Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Porou

Inspired by her mother’s and grandmother’s work, Elizabeth is applying her years of experience in user experience, designing for customers and strategy planning to this kaupapa. Her very technical background was as a software developer (BSc(Hons)) and Roboticist (MEngSc) before moving into leadership and planning roles. She learnt about tūpuna parenting ways in detail from her Mum in the years before Helen passed away. Elizabeth’s other mahi is as māmā to three tamariki, who she treasures and adores.

Dr Hirini Kaa
Dr Hirini Kaa

Chairman – Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahungunu and Rongowhakaata

As well as being Chairman for this kaupapa, Dr Kaa is Archdeacon for Mātauranga in the Anglican Church and a social justice advocate. He is passionate about child welfare, just as his father, Dr Hone Kaa, was before him. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Auckland and is author of an award-winning book, Te Hāhi Mihinare – The Māori Anglican Church, about iwi engagement with Christianity and how Māori adapted it to make it our own.

Headshot of Ashleigh Berryman
Ashleigh Berryman

Kaiārahi – Ngā Ariki Kaiputahi, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Heretaungā

Ashleigh has been a Maori Health Worker within Waikato communities since 2016 and became interested in tūpuna parenting after she had her matamua. She is māmā to three tamariki now, aged 8, 7 and 6. When the opportunity to learn more about this kaupapa in-depth through Ngākau Aroha Parenting arose, Ashleigh jumped at the chance and was part of our very first cohort in 2021.

She has been sharing the kaupapa with whānau, both online and in face-to-face wānanga, ever since. She completed her facilitator journey for Ngākau Aroha in 2022, and started her Kaiārahi role in 2023.

headshot photo of Tania
Tania Matautia B.Ed.(Tchg)

Kaiako – Ngati Uenukukopako, Te Roro o te Rangi and Te Arawa

Tania carries a passion for whānau Māori and their tamariki. She has a Bachelor of Education and taught in early childhood education and primary schools in Tāmaki Makaurau for 6 years. She then became a Māori community health worker in Porirua for several years before. As well as being Kaiako for our kaupapa, her other mahi is working in Māori capability with iwi around Aotearoa. Tania is a wife and Māmā of 3 aged 12,5 and 2 who she enjoys spending her time with. Tania completed Ngākau Aroha in 2022 and trained to become a facilitator shortly after.

Joleen Perry
Joleen Perry

Board Trustee – Te Aitanga-A-Mahaki, Ngai Tai, Ngati Porou, Ngati Kahungunu ki Te Wairoa

Joleen brings years of experience working in the social welfare sector, particularly supporting youth, and teenage parents to our board. She is also CEO of Te Aka Ora Charitable Trust based in Gisborne, working with tamariki, rangatahi and their whānau and communities, to support with social needs, whanau support, early learning opportunities and parenting supports.

Helen Mountain Harte
Helen Mountain Harte M.A. (1943 - 2019) In Memory

A Tribute

He Whakamoemiti

Helen dedicated the last 20 years of her life researching traditional Māori birthing and parenting practices. She co-founded Pēpi Penapena to continue to educate and inspire about the wonderful tikanga our tūpuna practised. Moe mai ra, tōku māmā. Moe mai ra.

Grounding our mahi (work)

Whakapapa Grounds us

Tupuna Nanny with her tamariki

Elizabeth and Hirini  are inspired by the very important intergenerational mahi of both their parents, Helen Mountain Harte (1942-2019) and Dr Hone Kaa (1943-2012).

Helen and Hone were both advocates for Māori tamariki across te motu.

The pūrākau in our mahi are from the atua, but also from our whānau, mātauranga-a-whānau (whānau knowledge).

  • In particular, the pūrākau from Elizabeth’s mother, Helen,
  • Her grandmother, Emere Makere Waiwaha Kaa (1901-1996), and
  • From her and Hirini’s shared great grandfather, Panikena Kaa (1872-1948)
Kaa Whānau with Panikena Kaa at centre

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