In partnership with The Workshop, the Child Wellbeing Unit facilitated a two-day wānanga in March 2021 to deepen understanding of brain development and how to support it.
The wānanga brought together around 60 community educators, academics, service providers, government policy makers and philanthropic organisations. The aims were to build awareness and understanding of mātauranga and tikanga Māori and Pacific world views of brain development and parenting and share best practice and evidence.
Narrative change specialists, The Workshop, then worked with the group to begin to develop a new shared narrative to help deepen societal understanding of brain development and what needs to be in place to support it.
Feedback from participants was extremely positive, for example:
“The opportunity to learn and to connect with others is incredibly valuable and I truly believe that working together we can make some real change and achievements for our tamariki and whanau, and also for the child development sector.”
“The wānanga was rich, vibrant, insightful and challenging, and I am very much looking forward to continuing to work in this space.”
The Child Wellbeing Unit will continue to liaise with wānanga participants and other interested parties, to build momentum for this work and help strengthen and foster the community of practice.
Talking about early brain development in Aotearoa New Zealand
The Workshop’s Talking about early brain development in Aotearoa New Zealand report includes reflections from the wānanga, guiding principles, suggested strategies, and potential next steps on creating narrative change. This report is a useful resource for knowledge holders, communicators, advocates, service providers and designers, as well as government and philanthropic funders.