Services that complete their fourth Baby Friendly accreditation receive a special Kohatu/Ōamaru statue. The stone is sourced from the Ūkaipo, the bosom of Papatūānuku, the Earth Mother. It is named Puna Wai Ū and represents whānau (mother and child). The white colour of Ōamaru stone correlates with the white creamy colour of breastmilk. It demonstrates purity and the rich nutrients making up baby’s prime food.
The two fern fronds entwine with each other signifying the baby on the mother's chest. This reinforces placing pēpi on mother’s chest after birth/kiri ki te kiri (skin to skin), her baby is listening to her heart beat, searching, latching and suckling at the breast for the first feed. The baby is once again “one” with the environment.
The larger frond represents the mother. In the traditional Māori creation story Hine-ahu-one is the first woman and is the placenta of Papatuanuku/Mother Earth. She is seen as the sacred house of people and of ALL nations.
Her silver hair is the pinnacle and represents the encyclopaedia of knowledge. She provides shelter and she is an educator of future generations. She is the fountain of life-giving BREASTMILK Wai Ū. A nutritional spring source that will never run dry!
Kia U, Kia Mau, Kia ita – Grasp onto all that is good!