New short film shares masterclass in Māori maternity wānanga

A new short film is sharing the success of an antenatal programme with the nation – far beyond the cradle of the programme’s birth in the small, powerful communities of Te Tai Tokerau.

Ngā Wānanga o Hine Kōpū reconnects pregnant Māori women and their whānau with mātauranga Māori as the basis for exploring conception, pregnancy, birth and parenting.

The powerful short film, created by Te Hiringa Hauora | Health Promotion Agency in partnership with The Spinoff, joins hapū māmā (pregnant mothers), fathers and whānau as they explore, learn and gain confidence through the wānanga.

Central to the programme is the philosophy that wāhine hapū (pregnant women) have a special, prized status in the whānau.

“That’s a concept that some of these wāhine have never felt, or seen, in their lives” says Koha Aperahama (Ngāti Hine, Ngā Puhi) who is employed by the Northland District Health Board (DHB). She is a qualified nurse, trained midwife and founder of Ngā Wānanga o Hine Kōpū.

“The wānanga offers a safe space that affirms this along with the hope that māmā and whānau are more confident to parent, to have good relationships, to navigate the maternity care system and make decisions for them and their pēpi”.