Co-creating the future of SKIP

After 15 years, lots of cups of tea, hundreds of local initiatives funded, and no doubt millions of parenting resources ordered over this time, communities have encouraged SKIP to evolve and co-create a new aspirational vision.

Dad and tamariki on the rugby field

“Over two years we've been reconnecting with whānau and community all over the motu, starting with hearing their dreams for whānau and tamariki,” says SKIP Lead Advisor Maraea Teepa.

As part of this, a series of kanohi-ki-te-kanohi and virtual wānanga were held to explore Te Pae Tawhiti – the long-term vision for SKIP.

Supporting the village of supporters

“The themes that emerged throughout this process have been consistent and clear. We need to recognise the important role everyone in the ‘village’ plays as supporters of whānau – grandparents, aunts, uncles, the person who drops off a bag of paua,” Maraea says.

“It means better supporting and building the capacity of the trusted people whānau go to for guidance, awhi and encouragement.”

More than 120 whānau supporters contributed their whakaaro throughout these wānanga. This has culminated in a new vision: kia matua rautia – a thriving village raising children together.

Learning from indigenous parenting practices 

Another clear theme was the need to learn from indigenous mātauranga and celebrate traditional parenting practices from tūpuna across the moana.

“Western science is just catching up to the knowledge of our tūpuna,” says Maraea on the importance of starting with mātauranga Māori and Pacific narratives.

Whakatipu is an example of a collection of resources that weave tikanga, pakiwaitara and tūpuna wisdom with child development information, ideas and activities for whānau. Many of the resources SKIP will create moving into the future will draw on the same kete of knowledge.

Dads hunting with their tamariki in UawaA magical co-design rōpū bring kia matua rautia to life

The new vision for SKIP has three clear priorities to bring to life kia matua rautia. To empower whānau supporters, to build a community of learning and to celebrate stories of change.

“From our wānanga with communities there was an overwhelmingly clear recommendation to create a new narrative for SKIP that embodies kia matua rautia and celebrates traditional parenting narratives,” says Jayson Kingsbeer, Project Lead on the Te Pae Tawhiti journey.

To create the new narrative and build a culturally-relevant model of learning for whānau supporters, a co-design rōpū named Rangitukutuku was formed.

“Rangitukutuku consisted of ten creative Māori, Pacific and tauiwi whānau supporters who met over four months to provide their ideas and perspectives, building on all of the ideas from the wānanga across the country,” Jayson says.

Through these monthly design jams a narrative has been created to unify the resources, training and other support SKIP and communities provide for whānau every day.

“It’s been such an incredible privilege to be on this waka with Rangitukutuku and all of the community who have been involved throughout the journey. We feel we’ve had the time to co-create this new approach properly, with the voices of whānau and community, and have been able to go back and forth to ensure we’re getting it right,” Jayson says.

Watch this space

What’s evolving? Maraea and Jayson say lots of things will look, feel and sound different, but what SKIP stands for will never change. The six principles, focus on the early years, and generosity of time, resources, and funding for community ideas will remain at the core.

The ‘new SKIP’ has been influenced and shaped by many voices and champions of whānau, grounded in all the learning that has taken place in the 15 years since SKIP was first launched.

Moving into 2022, the two-year journey of reimagining will start to bear fruit. Watch this space for a sneak peek of the evolution in February, and sign up for the SKIP email newsletter to be the first to hear about the exciting new developments.

Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi engari he toa takitini
Together we are creating something far greater than any one of us could create alone