Inspiring change for Tamariki

Tamariki Beliefs

Tā te tamariki tāna mahi wāwāhi tahā

It is the job of the children to smash the calabash

The calabash or gourd held precious liquids and were valued. The gourd stands for rules, methods or beliefs. So children have to test everything. That is their job. Adults have to accept that.

Tikanga Ririki is based on beliefs about tamariki. These include:

Newest First
Tamariki are Ataahua

Children are perfect. They are the face of God. Ata or atua is a reflection or a god. Ahua is aspect or nature. Babies are perfect, and they are still perfect when they are children.

Tamariki are wairua

Children are spirit. Wai is water or stream. Rua means two. Children are spirit. They are both male and female. Both sides need developing to be in balance. The female in boys needs to be evident and the male in girls. Boys have a tender and nurturing side, and girls have a strong and directional side.

Tamariki are tapu

Tapu is special, sacred. Children are special because they come from the ones who have gone before – the tipuna – and they are the parents of the ones to come. They are sacred because they whakapapa to the atua; the gods.

Tamariki have mana

Children have status and power. Respect them. Children have their own power. They are the face of God; they are wairua and they are tapu. This gives them mana.

Tamariki need aroha

Children need love. They need adults who are committed to them. Aroha is love and it is commitment. This is vital to children. They need love, and they need adults who will commit to them totally and always.

Tamariki need turangawaewae

Children need to belong. They must trust their whanau and friends. Turangawaewae is a secure and safe place where tamariki know everyone. It means whakapapa and whanaungatanga; family relationships and connections.

Tamariki need hinengaro

Hinengaro is the mind – the place where problems and conflicts are solved. If tamariki are shown violent solutions, they will find it hard to learn non-violent methods.