He Whatu (The binding weave)

The early childhood education curriculum, Te Whāriki, is seen as a whāriki, or a mat, woven from principles, strands, and goals. Similarly, the Building Blocks for Hauora (Building Blocks) whole-service approach weaves together children, staff, parents/whānau, the wider early learning service (ELS) community, along with the physical environment, policies and practices, and available resources essential to health and wellbeing.


He whatu guides you to look at health and wellbeing through a sustainable lens, with a whole-service approach. It enables you to weave many strands of knowledge and ideas across three different areas to ensure a positive influence on achieving toi ora (optimum health). These areas include what is happening in your organisation, in your environment, and for the individuals, whānau and community using your service.


Early learning services are entrusted to nurture tamariki, alongside their whānau. He whatu enables you to weave in hauora and whānau values and aspirations across your service. Creating change in the culture and environment of your service means it is long term and therefore more sustainable. Using He Whatu will enable continuous improvement, adding strength to your whatu and increasing the holding capacity and utility of your service’s kete.

He Whatu in Action


Ensure your service’s policies and practices create a physical and social environment that supports positive behaviour change. This could also include guidelines and formal and informal rules. For example: A hygiene policy or lunchbox guidelines


Adapt your physical and social environment so that the healthy choice is the easy choice. For example: Accessible handwashing facility or water dispenser


Increase knowledge, skills and support for your ELS community to take action and enhance their health and wellbeing. This will support positive behaviour change. For example: Staff professional development or whānau workshops

Our Partners

Cancer Society DOC EastBay Eastern Bay Healthy Families Heart Foundation Manaaki Ora Mental Health Sports Bay of Plenty Toi Tangata Te Whatu Ora