Success for Ngākau Aroha Parenting: Read our evaluation report

Cover art for Ngakau Aroha Parenting evaluation report, including photo of Maori Nanny and her moko

Evaluation highlights the positive outcomes of Ngākau Aroha Parenting in fostering gentle and respectful whānau relationships.

Decolonising Māori parenting methods and reclaiming our whakapapa are essential for the wellbeing and future of our tamariki and whānau. The recently released Ngākau Aroha Parenting Programme Evaluation, published by Tūpuna Parenting and funded by the Todd Foundation, highlights the importance of gentle, respectful, and loving parenting practices of tūpuna Māori. This report is a testament to the transformative power of these traditional practices in nurturing strong, happy, and loved pēpi and tamariki.

Ngākau Aroha Parenting is part of the Tūpuna Parenting movement, co-founded by cousins Elizabeth Emere Harte (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Porou) and Dr Hirini Kaa (Ngati Porou, Ngati Kahungunu). This kaupapa is evidence based, and is about re-indiginising whānau relationships for all whānau across the motu, but especially about acknowledging whakapapa for the cousins.

“We’ve been inspired by the very important intergenerational mahi of both our parents, Helen Mountain Harte (1942-2019) and Dr Hone Kaa (1943-2012). Helen and Hone were both advocates for Māori tamariki across te motu, particularly in the era after Nia Glassie died and the anti-smacking law reform referendum took place (both 2007),” says Elizabeth.

“When Mum and I started this work together in 2018, we wanted to share the mātauranga she held in this space through digital channels. Since she passed, developing this entirely virtual learning journey for Māori kaimahi was a natural progression. I love the mahi I do every day and continuing her legacy.”

Ngākau Aroha Parenting for Kaimahi is a pivotal professional development initiative aimed at reclaiming and reinforcing the gentle, respectful, and loving whānau relationships practised by our tūpuna. The programme’s purpose is to nurture strong, happy, and loved pēpi and tamariki by equipping kaimahi with knowledge of traditional Māori parenting values and techniques, supporting them in their learning journey.

Evaluated by Wai Rangahau, Ngākau Aroha Parenting carried out its first pilot in June 2021 and its second pilot in February 2022, initially working with Plunket kaimahi. Since then, it has expanded to other organisations across the motu.

Evaluation Reveals Key Findings

The evaluation revealed several key findings:

  • Increased Knowledge and Practice: The programme successfully increased the knowledge and practice of tūpuna parenting methods among kaimahi, as well as improving their communication skills, which are crucial for building trust and effective relationships with whānau.

  • Whānau Benefits: This knowledge has extended its benefits to the pēpi and tamariki the kaimahi support, creating a nurturing environment that fosters strong, happy, and loved tamariki.

  • Strengthening Whānau Relationships: The programme has played a transformative role in fostering positive and respectful whānau relationships, benefiting immediate families and influencing broader community circles.

Gentle and Evidence-Based Approaches

The Ngākau Aroha Parenting Programme Evaluation highlights the positive outcomes of traditional Māori parenting practices. By reinforcing gentle, respectful, and loving relationships, Ngākau Aroha Parenting nurtures future leaders. The continued success and expansion of this kaupapa promise a future where every pēpi and tamariki grows up strong, happy, and loved.

“We’re piloting a direct-to-whānau version of Ngākau Aroha Parenting, set to roll out later this year. We’ve also engaged Social Prism for a Social Return on Investment (SROI) evaluation, funded by Anglican Care Waiapu, to demonstrate our programme’s effectiveness,” says Elizabeth.

We extend our thanks to all who have supported Ngākau Aroha Parenting—our kaimahi, kaiako, kaitautoko, tauira, whānau, funders, and partners—especially Whānau Āwhina Plunket, the First 1000 Days team within Te Whatu Ora, the Tākai team within Oranga Tamariki, the Todd Foundation, Rata Foundation and Anglican Care Waiapu.

Na nga ringa aroha, na te ngakau atawhai, ka ora ai te whanau.

From loving hands, from a gentle heart, comes life for the whanau

Find out more information about Ngākau Aroha Parenting and read the full evaluation report here.

Full Evaluation Report: Ngākau Aroha Parenting Evaluation

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