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Celebrating the growth and development of pēpi, māmā and pāpā, and their whānau.

'This is a time of celebration for pēpi and his whānau. A time to look back at the past year and the wonderful learning, growth and development that we have achieved together. Tūmeke whānau!', 'Te Pihinga 2' page 20.

Some new parents say they gained a new appreciation of their own parents and grandparents after becoming parents themselves. Experiencing firsthand the commitment that being a parent requires can at times be overwhelming. Support from whānau plays an important part in helping new parents adjust and enjoy their role.

Many whānau enjoy celebrating their child’s first birthday. It’s a milestone that recognises the amazing changes that have happened in just 12 months. It’s important too to take some time to acknowledge the parents, their first year of parenting a new pēpi and also those who have supported them in that role.

The concept of mana tangata, the power an individual gains through their abilities, efforts and accomplishments is relevant here as parents are learning and growing their parenting skills and abilities. Important too is acknowledging the value of combining individual skills and knowledge for the collective benefit. Children grow and develop well when they are treated with respect as being tapu, gifts from the atua. They also benefit when the whānau around them treat each other with care and respect too.

A framework for raising tamariki

In the late Amster Reedy’s study of oriori he reflects on Te Oriori ā Tūteremoana and suggests it offers a framework for a traditional Māori philosophy in child rearing practices. He summarises the messages within it as:

  • Begin the journey
  • Keep the big picture
  • Seek out kaumātua, mātua, whanaunga
  • Think whakapapa, whānau, whanaungatanga
  • Climb our mountains, swim our rivers, and emulate our ancestors
  • Set goals
  • Adopt proverbs
  • Find out about our land
  • Contribute to the development of Aotearoa and the World
  • Learn about our history, our customs and traditions
  • Speak our beautiful reo
  • Sing our songs, oriori, moteatea, apakura, waiata
  • Perform our haka
  • Sail, hoe our waka
  • Carve our ancestors
  • Moko our people
  • Weave our lives
  • Retell our stories
  • Replant our gardens by phases of the moon
  • Strive for a better future.

This summary is an inspiration for all whānau and reminds us that adults are key to the development of a child's unique abilities and traits. Through mana atua, a child is acknowledged as having the right to be protected and nurtured by adults. Interweaving with mana tangata, this protection and nurturing fosters their unique talents and characteristics assuring they grow in confidence, and further develop their talents and skills.

Whakanuia reminds us to support and celebrate the growth and development of mokopuna, of parents and of whānau.

Amster Reedy (Ngati Porou) Te Oriori ā Tūteremoana | NPN Media Centre(external link)