Te Aka Whai Ora has teamed up with Te Kopu Inc to deliver Mahi Pai - an interactive live show for tamariki packed full of education about health and wellbeing.

Mahi Pai features amazing theatre performances from ‘taniwha’ who visit kura, kōhanga reo and community events in the Waikato to share their mātauranga and hauora messages in a fun and exciting way.

“Mahi Pai promotes hauora emphasising the importance of hygiene for tamariki. Our programme teaches children how to wash their hands correctly with ‘magic taniwha soap’, how to sanitize, and how to cough and sneeze safely, to prevent the spread of viruses like the flu, measles, Strep A and COVID-19,” says Lisa Minhinnick, Mahi Pai project leader for Te Kopu. 

“Our performance features Kaitiaki taniwha promoting sun and water safety, Kori taniwha teaching whakapakari tinana and healthy eating, Kamaka taniwha promoting leadership and anti-bullying, Aroha taniwha promoting positive relationships and emotional wellbeing, Matua te Moa promoting identity and culturally safe environments, Ihi taniwha promoting positive thinking and having self-belief and Rurubell the patupaiarehe promoting children’s wawawata moemoeā – dreams and aspirations. 

“Through Mahi Pai we’re also supporting the revitalisation of te reo Māori, and the expansion and practice of mātauranga Māori within a hauora context to all parts of our society, the blind community, deaf, tamariki whaikaha and takiwatanga. Our messages and resources encourage and support tamariki to embrace te reo, whakapapa, pūrākau, morals, values, and tikanga practices throughout all aspects of their lives,” says Lisa. 

Te Aka Whai Ora Maiaka Mātauranga DCE Mātauranga Māori, Kingi Kiriona, says the Mahi Pai concept is not only fun for tamariki, but is a significant collaboration where organisations and individuals are working together to improve health and wellbeing outcomes for whānau.

“Our tamariki need to experience positive healthy environments, connections and relationships, have positive education experiences and importantly opportunities to become successful achievers and lifelong learners. Mahi Pai brings all this together to strengthen and empower tamariki.

“It comes back to the goals we committed to as part of Te Pae Tata | Interim New Zealand Health Plan to enable inclusive communities that are active, have good nutrition and strong emotional support. I look forward to Mahi Pai continuing to deliver both good times and good health to our Waikato tamariki and their whānau,” says Kingi.