Engaging whānau in telling their stories.

Every whānau has a different story with regards to whakapapa. Engage the parents in telling their stories. Some will be knowledgeable and open, but others may be disconnected and unsure.

The important thing for the family worker to remember is not to assume anything. Rather than making any assumptions, have the conversation. There will be many ways to talk with whānau about this topic. For example:

  • I see you have a lot of family photos around. Would you like to tell me who they are?
  • Have you got any family photos you can show me?
  • How does your tamaiti respond to them?
  • Have you got stories you tell them about your whānau?
  • What stories do you think you’ll tell them when they’re older?
  • Shall we have a look at the whakapapa page (page 30) of the Whakatipu booklet Te Kōhuri 1 and see how much you can fill in for your tamaiti?
  • Who in your whānau has your tamaiti met in person?
  • How often do you see them?
  • Where are they from? Nō hea koutou?
  • How did your whānau come to be living here?

If parents are disconnected from their roots, you might tactfully ask how they would feel about making contact with whānau, and what help might be needed for that to happen.

Respect their wishes. They may have their own reasons not to want to be reunited with whānau. Āta haere –­ tread softly.

Look at page 19 of the Whakatipu booklet Te Kōhuri 1 with parents. Help them with the family names if they are not sure about them. For more help you can look up the glossary on pages 26–27 together.

Show them the interactive ‘Ngā mahi tika — Terms for family members’. You hover the mouse over one family member and it shows the relationship the others have to that person.

Ngā mahi tika — Terms for family members | Te Ara(external link)

How does this relate to Tākai resources?

Baby Wall Frieze – Kōrero mai mō tō tātou whānau – Teach me about our family

Six things children need – Te hanga ao tōtika, ao haumaru – A structured and secure world

Helpful resources for whānau