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Responsiveness to Māori


Te Whāriki

In response to requests for resources, education materials and advice on education on breastfeeding for Māori, NZBA provides a kete of resources, Te Whāriki, to support health professionals, consumers and others.  Scroll down to find them at the end of this section.

These resources are free to use.  Please provide any feedback, questions and ideas to Carmen Timu-Parata - or 027 773 2233.


Te Tiriti ō Waitangi

The Treaty of Waitangi/Te Tiriti ō Waitangi as the founding document of Aotearoa New Zealand expressed as a partnership between the indigenous Māori people of Aotearoa New Zealand and the Crown.  Māori entered into that agreement with the British to advance their aspirations, affirm their tino rangatiratanga/self-determination and ensure equity (Came and Tudor, 2016).

Article 2 relates to the protection of Māori tāonga/treasures - health is a treasure.

Article 3 outlines that Māori receive the same rights as English subjexts - this means health status.

NZBA recognises its obligations with regard to the Treaty of Waitangi/Te Tiriti ō Waitangi and the principles of the Treaty are demonstrated by the way NZBA practises as an effective treaty partner by:

  • Partnership:  Identifying hapū/iwi breastfeeding aspirations and addressing inequities to further improve breastfeeding rates in Aotearoa New Zealand.
  • Participation:  Working alongside Māori with decision making, planning, development and implementation of the Baby Friendly Initiatives.
  • Protection:  Ensuring that Māori traditional breastfeeding practices are protected.

The revision of the Baby Friendly Aotearoa Programme to align the revised Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding (2018) has a strong focus on improving breastfeeding rates for Māori.  The audit process incorporates the NZBA's policy on Māori Responsiveness (March 2018).




E ngā mana, e ngā reo, E ngā karangatanga maha tena koutou

Whakataka te hau ki te uru

Whakataka te hau ki te tonga

Kia makinakina ki uta

Kia mataratara ki tai

Kia hi ake aua te atakura

He tio he huka he hauhu

Tihei Mauriora

Te iwi e tau nei teneri ra

Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa



An important focus for the health and disability sector is to address inequity in Māori health status.  Māori aspiratiions are to lead and fulfil their potential to participate in our society.  However, the root causes of health inequalities are yet to be fully recognised and rectified.  It is imperative that the health sector is challenged to address Māori health issues and that together we can all play an important role in influencing health policy and practice to better meet the needs of Māori.

NZBA is committed to meeting its responsibilities under the Treaty of Waitangi/Te Tiriti ō Waitangi, and its broader legal obligations in being more responsible and effective for Māori.


Te Whāriki

Indigenous Māori are entitled to enjoy the same health status as all other New Zealanders.  Despite this, the evidence increasingly shows that Māori are disproportionately over represented in low breastfeeding rates.  NZBA has a role within the health system to influence these outcomes and we are committed to our Māori health strategy.  It is within this context of the Māori concept of Whai Wahitanga we offer this Māori cultural education kit.

Its main goals are to:-

  • enhance the cultural competency of staff and associated health professionals to improve breastfeeding outcomes for whānau Māori.
  • increase maternity facility and community services responsiveness to the diverse needs of Māori women and their whānau.


Rāranga: weaving the Māori resource

We have used the metaphor of weaving/raranga to view the knowledge and resources from a Māori perspective.

The development of these resources can be likened to weaving a whāriki (a finely woven traditional mat).  The process of weaving is called rāranga.  Providing Māori resources refers to teh weaving together of different strands of knowledge.

Rāranga was a symbol of wellbeing for whānau, hapū and iwi.  Te Ao Māori (the traditional society) was a woven culture.  Local hapū attached great importance to their "pa harakeke" (flax cultivations) for use in the family units.  This fundamental important resource enabled the provision of clothing, shelter and housing materials for successive generations.

According to the metaphor used in this resource, harakeke symbolises the various sources of information gathered.

Te Whāriki is the result of collaborative work undertaken by NZBA and Te Rōpu Whakaruruhau, the Māori advisory board.  The purpose of Te Whāriki is to gather a range of educational material to one point of access.  This includes links to powerpoints, research articles, reflective activity sheets and other Māori resources that can enhance your work.