Koha Aperahama (midwife) and Tash Wharerau’ were delivering Te Mata o Mua hapu wānanga (antenatal classes), a programme for hapu mama at Ngāti Hine Health Trust. The philosophies of the programme were drawn from a Te Ao Māori perspective of pregnancy and birthing practices. Te Mata o Mua wānanga for hapu whanau had run for more than 8 years and was showing some good outcomes for hapu mama and whanau who attended.
Northland DHB worked with Koha to trial hapu wānanga in Whangarei and this was evaluated by FEM Ltd. Outcomes from this evaluation confirmed that Te Mata O Mua hapu wānanga was a successful approach to establishing strong and enduring connections with whanau and Māori birthing practices.
A decision was made to develop a kaupapa Māori antenatal programme (Nga Wānanga o Hine Kōpū) for hapu mama and whānau in Te Tai Tokerau.