Immunisation support rauemi (resources)

Information to support whānau Māori to make informed decisions about immunisations for their pēpi and tamariki.

We’ve developed two rauemi: a pukapuka, Pīwari the kaitiaki, and an immunisation scheduling rauemi inspired by our maramataka, Tūwhitia te Marama. These rauemi were co-developed by IDIA (Indigenous Design and Innovation Aotearoa) with māmā and pāpā from across ngā hau e whā – from Whangārei, Waihōpai, Taranaki and Tairāwhiti. They are the result of almost two years of co-design and co-development with these hapori.

How to find a copy

Distribution of raeumi

Free copies of the rauemi (resources) can be ordered by whānau and Hauora Services. The rauemi are intended for settings where māmā and pāpā can share kōrero and information in order to make informed decisions around immunising pepī and tamariki. 

To order copies

  • Whānau: email us with your name, mailing address and the number of copies you need.
  • Hauora Providers: email us with your name, job title, organisation, email, phone, and the number of copies you are after. Please also provide a short description of your organisation and the services it provides. This will help us understand how the rauemi will be shared. 
  • Any pātai? Email us.

About immunisation

Immunisation protects tamariki from preventable diseases that can cause serious illness and death.
The impact of diseases is significantly reduced in our communities when immunisation rates are high.
In Aotearoa, vaccines in the National Immunisation Schedule are offered free of charge to pēpi, tamariki, rangatahi and eligible adults.
Most immunisations are given in the first two years of life and provide significant protection for tamariki.


Matua Tau Huirama (of the Tainui Waka of the Hapu Ngati Tamainupo and Ngati Maniapoto) is the Kaumatua o Te Whatu Ora, National Public Health Service (NPHS). He gifted the following Karakia, which can be used by anyone. You may wish to adjust it to the whakapapa of your iwi.

It is a reminder that you and pepī are important:
“Kaua e koe e whati, he Rangatira Koe”
Do not lose confidence in yourself
For you were borne of a Rangatira

The Karakia can be used during or around the time of immunisation to calm and settle pēpi. 

Mee karakia taatou
  Let’s say karakia together

Ki ooku Mana whakapono
  To my superpowers

E karanga atu ahau ki a koe
  I call upon you at this time

Ki te koha mai ki a maatou tou mauri tau, tou manawanui,
  Please bestow your gifts, of relaxation and patience upon us all 

Ki te awhi a maatou taonga, te pepi miharo, te pepi korikori, te pepi paamaemae
  So we can nurture our treasures, our wonderful babies, our active babies, and our sick or upset babies

Kei a matou te hono ki ngaa tuupuna,
kei a raatou e hono ki te whai ao

  For we keep their connection to our ancient ones
  and our tamariki are our connections for the future

Mee tenei he korero oo te oranga o maatou pepi katoa
  For the sentiments expressed for the well-being of all our babies

Aa paimarire.
  Peace of heart be with us.



The following rongoa are some home aftercare remedies you can use after immunisation. Please check for any allergies that your pēpi may have. 


When preparing Rongoā Māori, it is tikanga to karakia and set intentions when accessing rau/rakau (plant matter) for their healing properties, and throughout the preparation process. 

Everyday ingredients

Kawakawa (pepper tree) or kopakopa (plantain) are two common rau that may be growing in your backyard or hapori. The leaves can be placed, whole or crushed, on the wound site for relief. 

Botanical plants such as calendula, lavender or dandelion can be used in the same way.

Everyday ingredients such as honey, vinegar, coconut oil, baking soda and herbs with anti-inflammatory properties (like turmeric and garlic) are also helpful for home remedies.

Herbal poultice

A homemade poultice may provide relief for things such as minor skin irritations, cuts and bruises. Here’s how to make a herbal poultice that can be used to relieve minor inflammation, abrasions and more.

What you'll need
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 ounce freshly chopped or grated ginger
¼ small raw sliced onion
1 chopped garlic clove
2 teaspoons coconut oil
Cheesecloth or cotton bandage


  1. Add the coconut oil followed by the rest of the ingredients to a pan on low heat and allow it to heat until it’s almost dry — but not burnt.
  2. Turn off the stove and transfer ingredients to a bowl to cool so that it’s warm to the touch.
  3. Lay the cloth flat and add the mixture to the centre of the cloth.
  4. Fold the cloth over twice to create a pack or gather it and tie with some string or a rubber band to create a handle — whatever you prefer as long as the ingredients stay inside the cloth.
  5. Place on the affected area for 20 minutes.

When to get medical help

Some pēpi experience reactions from immunisations. These are usually very mild and do not last long. It is part of the immune system’s natural response to a vaccine. Serious reactions are rare.

You can contact a doctor or nurse, or call Healthline for free on 0800 611 166 if you are worried about any reactions to an immunisation.

It is also normal to be concerned and want to speak to a professional if pēpi is experiencing: 

  • a rash or area of redness that’s expanding
  • blisters
  • swelling
  • severe pain
  • skin warmth
  • fever.

If you notice that the immunisation site is showing redness or swelling, draw a circle around it. Watch to see if the redness or swelling is expanding rapidly outside of the circle. If pēpi has a high fever, go to the nearest emergency room if you can.

Te Whāinga o te Mārama

About this kaupapa

Te Whāinga o te Mārama (the pursuit of collective understanding) is a collaborative and ongoing effort to find better ways to support whānau Māori to make informed decisions about immunisations for their pēpi and tamariki. 

These rauemi were developed by IDIA (Indigenous Design and Innovation Aotearoa) in collaboration with Māmā and Pāpā from Whangārei, Waihōpai, Taranaki and Tairāwhiti. They are a culmination of almost two years of research, understanding, design and development. 

This project prioritises Te Ao Māori solutions and is guided by the principles of Ngā Manukura (community leadership) and Te Mana Whakahaere (autonomy) of whānau Māori. It also provided an opportunity for the Health Promotion Directorate and the wider National Public Health Service to learn and challenge inequitable structures for Māori related to māmātanga and hāputanga.


Māori Māmā views and experiences of vaccinating their pēpi and tamariki: A qualitative Kaupapa Māori study is available to read and download. This report explores the social and cultural reasons that Māori may be less likely to engage with childhood vaccination services.


We would like to mihi to all who contributed to this mahi, especially our māmā and pāpā from across ngā hau e whā: Whangārei, Waihōpai, Taranaki and Tairāwhiti.

These resources were entirely co-designed with over 50 māmā and pāpā from these four rohe. Their whakaaro, aspirations and needs influenced the content, design, and look and feel of these rauemi. 

We would also like to acknowledge the following individuals and organisations who have contributed to this kaupapa: 

  • University of Auckland, AUT and WotMatters Ltd.: Dr Nadia Charania, Shirleyanne Brown (Ngāpuhi; WotMatters), Lorraine Toki (Ngāpuhi; WotMatters) and Terryann Clark (Ngāpuhi; Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland; Mahitahi Hauora PHO) 
  • Indigenous Design & Innovation Aotearoa (IDIA): Dr Johnson Witehira, John Moore, Natalia Spooner, Lucy Shand and Maddie Mataia. We would also like to give a special thanks to the late Miriame Barbarich for her vision for this mahi. Miriame’s presence and contribution will continue to be felt through this mahi
  • Izzy Joy Te Aho-White (illustrator)
  • Health Promotion Directorate, National Public Health Service, Te Whatu Ora - Health New Zealand.


You can email Whakamarama for questions about this kaupapa.