Ngākau Aroha

For Kaimahi (staff) Who Support Māori Whānau

Tūpuna Māori whānau with a tohunga performing a tohi ceremony for their pepi

Our tūpuna didn’t smack or yell at their tamariki - and most whānau today don’t know that.

How do we share this with all whānau?

The Tūpuna Parenting movement needs more voices, more leaders, learning this kaupapa in-depth .

How do we grow more voices and leaders?

There needs to be more experts trained in this mātauranga (knowledge) to share it with whānau in detail.

Ngākau Aroha Parenting is about creating more leaders in the Tūpuna Parenting movement.

We will teach you about tūpuna parenting mātauranga, grounded in the tapu and mana of pēpi, and give you tools to share these kōrero with whānau as part of your daily work.

You will be able to inspire and empower them to be gentle, respectful and loving parents and whānau, just like our tūpuna were. 

Tupuna Nanny cuddling moko

We've been independently evaluated

In June 2024, we received our first independent evaluation highlighting the quality of our programme, the benefits it gives the kaimahi who attend the journey, and for the whānau they support.

Tupuna Nanny with her tamariki

Why Learn this Kaupapa?

Reclaiming our whakapapa​

Our tūpuna were gentle and respectful parents and whānau, before the colonials imposed their parenting on Māori.

Breaking stereotypes

Once Were Warriors was not how we parented. We were great warriors, but those warriors were raised gently.

Inspiring change

Helping whānau finding inspiring stories from their whakapapa, or sharing our tūpuna stories can empower them to parent differently.


"I would recommend the Ngākau Aroha Parenting course to anyone who works with Māori whānau and wants to make a positive difference in their lives. This course will give you the confidence and skills to introduce the tūpuna parenting ways to whānau and empower them to parent differently. You will also learn a lot about yourself and your own parenting journey."
"I found that completing Ngakau Aroha has added to my kete of mātauranga that enables me to utilise the knowledge within my mahi and my personal life. I would encourage others to participate, because this Kaupapa can be shared, implemented, flexible and develops understanding from a Maori perspective, while enhancing the Mana of Maori whanau and yourself."
Headshot of Cindy
Cindy Te Rehu-Tuki
Whānau Āwhina Plunket
"He Kaiawhina ahau mo Manaaki Matakaoa. Kei te noho au hei pou tuara mo māmā rāua ko pepi. I would highly recommend this Kaupapa to all whanau wanting to re-indigenize their parenting ways and also wanting to empower themselves as parents and as a whanau together. Everyone would benefit in some way or another engaging with this Kaupapa."

After completing Ngākau Aroha, you will have:

1. Gained an understanding of tapu and mana

that pēpi are born with, the foundations of tūpuna parenting, starting with the atua (spirit world).

2. Learned tūpuna parenting mātauranga (knowledge)

Including whakatauki, waiata oriori, atua pūrākau and early explorer accounts.

3. Developed connections between your whānau

and tūpuna parenting ways, guiding you on a personal journey.

4. Related tūpuna parenting to modern whānau

situations so you can provide practical advice to the whānau you support.

5. Practised introducing this kaupapa to whānau

considering different whānau, ages/stages of pēpi and tamariki, and varying backgrounds you will encounter.

6. Familiarised with the cards, videos and resources

that you will use to support including this kaupapa into your daily practice with whānau.

Our Kaiako - Teachers

Headshot of Elizabeth Emere Harte

Elizabeth Emere Harte B.Sc(Hons), M.Eng.Sc

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 strategy, 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

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 Rogde-Berryman

Ngā Ariki Kaiputahi, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Heretaunga

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. Ashleigh then went on to train as a Ngākau Aroha facilitator, helping prepare other kaimahi to share the kaupapa with the whānau they work with.

headshot photo of Tania Matautia

Tania Matautia - B.Ed.(Tchg)

Ngati Uenukukopako, Te Roro o te Rangi, 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 - B.A. (Psychology), PGDipPsch

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.

Woman sitting on floor reading a picture book to a young girl

Our people have a beautiful and inspiring whakapapa of traditional indigenous parenting that is whānau centered, gentle and loving.

Roana Archbold (Ngāti Tuwharetoa)

Health Promoter/Programmes Facilitator, Tē Puawaitanga Ki Ōtautahi Trust

Want to include your tūpuna?

Ka pai, we’re happy to customise the learning journey for the rohe, hapū and iwi that you’re in. Message us and we can have a hui about your needs.

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