New birth education programme designed for Māori women and whānau

12 June 2018

Māori women and their whanau will now have better access to antenatal classes based on kaupapa Māori practices and principles, thanks to a new birth education programme launched at Taranaki DHB this week.

Hapū Wānanga is a pilot programme offering free workshops to pregnant women around Taranaki to help them better understand pregnancy, birth and raising tamariki.

The workshops will be delivered by independent Māori midwives Tawera Trinder and Sharon Wipiti, who bring a combined wealth of knowledge and experience around the education of childbirth in a cultural setting.

Ms Trinder says “It is important we offer local whānau the opportunity to learn parenting skills in a culturally appropriate setting and we are proud to be a part of bringing Hapū Wānanga to our communities around the maunga.

Our aim is to share experiences and information about pregnancy, birth and beyond in a safe and supportive environment where Māori can engage in traditional practices. We will provide workshops in locations such as marae and community-based venues, not just hospital settings.”

Hapū Wānanga was developed by the Waikato DHB through input from key stakeholders from the Midlands DHB region. Early evaluation of Waikato’s programme indicates that it has had a positive influence on breastfeeding, safe sleep, immunisations and smoke-free outcomes.

Taranaki DHB’s Chief Advisor Māori Health, Ngawai Henare is excited to deliver Hapū Wānanga to Taranaki whānau and says “We want to improve child and maternal health outcomes for Māori in Taranaki according to our Whānau Ora (family health) philosophy – that every service offered or funded by the DHB should contribute knowledge and skills that empower whānau to understand and manage their own health conditions.”

The first workshops will be held in June, starting in North Taranaki on Wednesday 13 and Thursday 14 June,  9.00 – 3.00pm at Muru Raupatu Marae in Bell Block and then in South Taranaki on Wednesday 27 and Thursday 28 June, 9.00 – 3.00pm at the Tahu Potiki Centre in Hawera.

To register for Hapū Wānanga or for more information on the programme contact Tawera Trinder Facilitator/Midwife Ph 027 727 6657 or Sharron Wipiti Facilitator/Midwife Ph 021 383 133. Check out the facebook page on

For more information please call

Beth Findlay-Heath
Communications Advisor
021 665 017


Last updated: Friday, June 22, 2018

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