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The Whakatipu booklet 'Te Kākano' has useful information about issues such as pregnancy and brain development.

Te Kākano
Te Kākano

Here’s some information to help you introduce the Whakatipu booklet 'Te Kākano' (pregnancy) to whānau.

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There are 9 booklets in the Whakatipu set. They cover all the ages and stages of a child’s development up to 5 years old.

Explain to whānau that:

  • these books have been written especially for Kiwi families
  • they’re for all families and have a special Māori focus
  • they contain lots of information and ideas
  • 'Te Kākano' is the first booklet in the series and is useful to anyone who’s expecting a baby
  • Te Kākano means ‘the seed’ or ‘the beginning’ – that’s what’s happening now with their whānau; the beginning of a new child.

The booklet starts with a whakataukī, or proverb:

Ahakoa he iti, he pounamu – Although small, it is precious – like greenstone.

  • Each book contains chapters. 'Te Kākano' has 3 chapters, covering the 3 trimesters of pregnancy.

'What's happening?'

Suggest to the whānau that you look at the booklet together.

  • Start with where they are in the pregnancy.
  • Ask: ‘How many weeks pregnant are you?’ and find the relevant chapter in the booklet.
  • Each chapter starts with ‘What’s happening … Pēpi says’.
  • These few sentences tell us what stage of development baby is at and the main things that are happening.
  • Read through ‘Pēpi says’ together, for the relevant trimester.
  • Ask:
    • Did you know this already?
    • Do you want to go back to the previous chapter to check out what development has already happened?

Whānau say

  • The next page, ‘Whānau say’, covers:
    • some of the things parents may be wondering about
    • how to look after the parents
    • things whānau could be doing or learning more about.


  • What have you been thinking about recently?
  • Have you been thinking any of the same things listed in ‘Whānau say’?

The amazing brain

  • In each chapter, there’s a section called ‘Te hinengaro mīharo’ or ‘The amazing brain’.
  • It’s about brain development and all the wonderful things going on inside baby’s brain at each stage.
  • Read ‘Te hinengaro mīharo’ together and discuss it.

Other sections

  • Other sections have lots of interesting activities and information.
    • There’s a waiata in every chapter, and whānau can listen to it in the ‘Whakatipu’ section on the Tākai website.
    • There are sections with activities for parents that help connect them with their child. In 'Te Kākano', the activities are mostly about becoming parents and thinking about preparing for a new baby.
    • There are useful tips and reminders (‘Kia maumahara’) that are relevant for each stage. In 'Te Kākano' (page 18) they’re about whānau members looking after themselves – and especially māmā while she’s pregnant.
    • You could ask: ‘How well are you looking after yourselves?’
    • On page 29, there are questions to get whānau thinking about the birth. This includes what they want and what they might need to prepare beforehand.

You could:

  • ask if they’ve looked at any pictures or watched videos about prenatal development
  • suggest they watch some of the interesting YouTube clips available on the topic

Helpful resources for whānau