The giving of koha is a common tikanga. The biggest koha that mokopuna can receive is safety and security.

Koha is a common tikanga in Māori tradition – it involves the act of giving. The same tikanga applies today. In formal situations, taonga are usually given as a token of appreciation and respect. When visiting friends and whānau, a koha of kai may be appropriate, especially if it is a special recipe or dish.

Giving koha to mokopuna

Giving mokopuna time and attention and making them feel safe and secure is the biggest koha any whānau can give them — it’s priceless.

Ask whānau:

  • What do you think about the giving of koha?
  • How does gift giving work with your family and friends?
  • Have you experienced koha in a formal situation, for example, arriving at a marae for a powhiri? What happened?
  • What is usual among your whānau and friends around taking a koha when you are visiting?
  • What do you like to have happen when people visit you?
  • It is suggested that a parent’s time and attention is a ‘priceless’ koha they can give their tamariki. Do you agree?
  • What time and attention do you think your tamaiti would like?
  • Thinking back to your childhood, what gifts do you remember receiving?
  • What might qualify as a koha for your tamaiti?

Let’s look at the Ara Mātua (parenting pathway for this age range) and see what things could be considered a koha for mokopuna. It might be as simple as having a ritual before their moe, talking to each other, playing together or sharing a story.

These routines have the ability to help a young child feel safe and secure. This sense of safety has been identified as a key factor in promoting effective discipline.

Ask the whānau:

  • What else could help your tamariki feel safe and secure?
  • What about the opposite — things that might make them feel unsafe or insecure?
  • What do the tamariki say about how they like to be treated?

Most of the things they ask for relate to love and warmth, which is another one of the six components of effective discipline.

Enjoying any one of the many play ideas and activities in this resource are a koha for mokopuna.