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Wānangatia te Wahakura

The SUDI Prevention National Coordination Service are holding a series of national wānanga across Aotearoa, focused on connecting whānau, weavers, communities and kaupapa Māori health professionals committed to supporting the sustainability of wahakura. The first of these wānanga will be held at Makaurau Marae, Ihumātao, Auckland on July the 9th. The activities and speakers at the wānanga aim to share insights from te ao Māori which will inform flourishing families and healthy pregnancies.

Wahakura were introduced by Māori weaving communities, as a means to combat the inequitable rates of Māori passing away as a result of Sudden Unexplained Death in Infancy (SUDI). "Not only do wahakura provide a safe sleeping space for mokopuna, these taonga draw on Māori ancestral knowledge and understandings as a means to affirm the identity and vitality of whānau. It is important that our current health care system continues to support the sustainability of wahakura, through understanding the needs of whānau, weavers and communities alike" says SUDI Prevention National Coordination Service Manager, Fay Selby-Law.

"E ngā kairaranga - we have an aspiration in common! Māori infants do not have to die at six times the rate of other babies. Nā a koutou mahi tēnei āhuatanga i whakatika. This should have not happened and should never happen again" says Professor David Tipene-Leach.

"There are many Māori-derived and community-led solutions implemented, such as, wānanga hapū (Māori antenatal birthing classes). We need to ensure that these initiatives continue to be supported, so that all whānau have the opportunity to participate. Mana enhancing services grounded in whanaungatanga, are key to supporting the potential of whānau and mokopuna. Encouraging breastfeeding nurtures our connection with baby, just as Papatūānuku commits to sustaining and protecting us. Sharing these insights, as grounded in our own knowledge systems, is vital in how I work with whānau" says Women’s Health Promoter, Tash Wharerau.

The open wānanga has attracted the interest of many, from across Northland and Tāmaki Makaurau. The event which runs across two days will include speakers such as Sir David Tipene-Leach as well as activities such as planting a pā harakeke (plantation of harakeke), and exploring stories of mana whenua, maramataka and whānau ora.

When: Pōhiri begins at 10am 9th July, wānanga runs over two days

Where: Makaurau Marae, 8 Ruaiti Marae, Māngere, Auckland

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