He Pou Oranga Tangata Whenua

He Pou Oranga Tangata Whenua describes pathways of wellbeing, which are indicators for us on how to support health for tangata whenua. Building Blocks for Hauora (Building Blocks) acknowledges the importance of these pathways and weaves these into our overall tool. Within each of the blocks you will see examples of how each of these pathways can be interwoven into the specific hauora areas.


Wairuatanga supports a commitment to a spiritual existence, intimately connected to the environment (maunga, awa, moana).

Building Blocks encourages early learning services (ELS) to consult with their families/whānau and communities and include them in discussing ways to ensure wairuatanga is incorporated into a holistic approach to hauora. This may include stronger connections to local pūrākau, whakapapa and pepeha, and greater awareness of the environment.


Rangatiratanga supports positive leadership, self-determination and sovereignty.

Building Blocks provides an opportunity for tamariki, whānau and ELS to develop leadership in their community. Building Blocks aims to strengthen the whatu, providing enablers to empower ELS to weave a strong foundation that works for their own community. The block checklists provide standards of best practice and flexibility to achieve these in a way that suits the ELS.


In alignment with Te Whāriki: Mana Atua, Building Blocks empowers kaiako to find ways to encourage tamariki to develop self-help and self-care skills, strengthen self-efficacy and sense of self-worth, making choices and developing independence, and enhancing a sense of responsibility for their own wellbeing.


Manaakitanga emphasises behaviour that enhances the mana of other people, showing respect or kindness and support.

Building Blocks aims to empower and tautoko ELS to strengthen their whatu, with the aim of empowering tamariki, whānau and kaiako to take ownership of their own health and wellbeing.  Showing respect, kindness and support is essential in this process.


Kotahitanga acknowledges the importance of unity and solidarity, a common purpose that brings people together.

Building Blocks encourages your ELS to first raise awareness with your ELS community to enable them to journey towards toi ora. Thriving healthy tamariki is the common purpose that unites ELS, Building Blocks and whānau.


Ūkaipōtanga prioritises connections to locality, a place where you belong, have purpose and are important.

Building Blocks encourages your ELS to take notice of your locality, to connect with your local stories, and to create a place where tamariki belong and have purpose. Connect with the environment, with local pūrākau, whakapapa and pepeha.


Kaitiakitanga acknowledges the importance of stewardship and guardianship over people, land and resource, and the preservation of tangata whenua knowledge.

Underlying Building Blocks is our pūrākau, respecting a mātauranga Māori understanding of how to support the health and wellbeing of tamariki, in the context of their whānau. An emphasis on holistic health draws from Te Whare Tapa Wha. Tikanga principles also provide guidance in areas such as hygiene and preventing the spread of infection. Tamariki are encouraged to connect with, respect and care for Papatūānuku as kaitiaki. In alignment with Te Whāriki, the Mana Whenua/Belonging Strand encourages tamariki to grow and prepare food, take up opportunities to fix things, clean, garden and care for the environment.


Whānaungatanga emphasises the importance of relationships and connections, that people are related to all living things. There is a focus on the collective, prioritising whānau and preserving genealogical links.

Building Blocks puts tamariki at the heart of their whānau. We encourage you to engage with your ELS whānau and wider community at every stage as you journey through Building Blocks. Include tamariki, whānau, kaiako and your community in decision making and raising awareness, and provide opportunities to upskill and empower them with information and resources. Encourage tamariki to have a strong sense of themselves as a link between past, present and future.


Pūkengatanga is about creating opportunities to develop and grow skills, knowledge and attitudes. It is also the safe-keeping of knowledge through transfer from generation to generation.

Building Blocks provides opportunities to strengthen your whatu, to empower your ELS at the organisation, environment and individual level. The checklists and resources support growth in knowledge, skills and attitudes. Empowering staff and whānau to role model healthy behaviour supports tamariki to develop habits that will last a lifetime. Providing an empowering curriculum that recognises and enhances the mana of tamariki can support them to enhance the mana of others, and to be advocates of health and wellbeing for the next generation.

Te Whāriki

The early childhood education curriculum, Te Whāriki, is seen as a whāriki, or a mat, woven from principles, strands, and goals.
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He Whatu (The Binding Weave)

He whatu guides you to look at health and wellbeing through a sustainable lens, with a whole-service approach.
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