Support for pregnant women at two-day wananga
28/06/2018 9:02:24 a.m.

Thursday 28 June 2018

Support for pregnant women at two-day wananga

Lakes DHB in collaboration with key stakeholders in the Rotorua community is offering a hapu wananga for pregnant women and their whanau (family) in Rotorua, launching this week over two days, 27-28 June at Apumoana Marae.

The hapu wananga will provide advice and support around pregnancy, birthing and breastfeeding, with a particular focus on Maori tikanga (customs) and traditional practices.

Classes are inclusive of women of all ethnicities and demographics, who are near term. But spaces are limited to 15 women per class with additional support people welcome.

The course runs over two days and aims to provide an enviroment that is welcoming and makes it easier for the whole whanau to take part.

“We especially want partners and family members to feel fully involved in the learning process and will deliver the content in a way that is fun and relevant to them as well as the mothers. The content of the wananga is underpinned by a Māori world view and our traditional practices,” says Amy Wray.

Referrals into the hapu wananga are through:

  •  The Kia Wana Lakes Baby-Rotorua Facebook Page (Self referrals)
  •      Calling the 0800 lakes baby phone 0800 525 372
  •  Filling in tick box referral form found at LMC/GP clinics.

The June hapu wananga is fully booked but women are being encouraged to register for the next one, by using one of the means of booking listed above.

Local weavers will also attend the wananga to teach muka tie and also promote the wahakura (woven flax bassinet) workshops where whanau can weave their own wahakura. The Breastfeeding Service will have lactation consultants and midwives present throughout the whole wananga. Each day of the wananga there will be guest speakers who will deliver key messages and provide unique input into the classes, for example, yoga, mirimiri, stop smoking services.

The hapu wananga curriculum also includes:

  •  Opening with whakatau ( Maori welcome), karakia (prayers) and whakawhanaungatanga(introductions and relationship building).
  •  Exploring and discussing traditional Maori birthing and parenting practices such as ipu whenua, making muka tie, cutting the cord, karakia, oriori (lullabies) and rongoa Māori (Maori medicine)
  • Safe Sleep will be a key component of the course and pepi pods and wahakura will be distributed to participants who attend the full course.


The aim is to hold wananga regularly in local communities, community-led to enable community ownership with a small number of women (15) and support people at each one.