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

Empower whānau with mātauranga to raise pēpi and tamariki that are happy, loved, and strong.

Our MIssion

Sharing the gentle and respectful parenting ways of tūpuna Māori with whānau across the motu.

Our Team

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

The movement is led by the whānau at Pēpi Penapena (Cherish Babies). Tūpuna Parenting 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 - B.Sc(Hons) M.Eng.Sc

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

Mātauranga Advisor – Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahungunu and Rongowhakaata

Previously 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 Matautia
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.

Portrait image of Māori woman with long brown hair smiling Jo-Maitera Hall
Jo-Maitera Hall - BA (Psychology), PGDipPsch

Kaiako – Ngāti Toa Rangatira

Jo-Maitera joins our Kaiako team who is also a busy Māmā passionate about our kaupapa, holistic healing modalities including Kaha Ra, Reflexology and Mirimiri, is a Mental Health advocate and a support for whānau in the disability sector. She has both a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology from Massey University, and graduated from Ngākau Aroha Parenting in 2022. She inherently lives within Te Ao Māori tikanga and kawa and incorporates our kaupapa within her own whānau, iwi and hapū, and the whānau she supports. Jo-Maitera is dedicated to supporting Māmā and Pēpē and maternal mental health for indigenous wāhine mā, supporting individuals and whānau to reach their potential and currently facilitates a rongoā programme in Te Whanganui-a-tara. She will be a Kaiako for our Ngākau Aroha Parenting cohorts going forward.

Professional business headshot of Ngaroma Whiting
Ngaroma Whiting

Operations Manager – Te Whānau a Apanui

For over a decade, Ngaroma’s professional endeavours have traversed a myriad of sectors, from Social Services to Warehousing and Logistics. Her experience is across various organisation types from Kaupapa Māori and Iwi establishments to Charitable Trusts, budding enterprises, and large corporates. With a strong administrative background, and as a māmā of three (ages 10, 7, 4yrs), she brings a wealth of knowledge and skills to our organisation.
Joleen Perry
Joleen Perry - BA (Māori) Grad Dip (Psychology)

Advisor – 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.

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
Helen Mountain Harte
Helen Mountain Harte - Dip Teaching, B.A. 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.

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