Crystal Pekepo: Connecting whānau to whakapapa

Crystal Pekepo helps whānau in Hawke’s Bay connect with each other and build their cultural understanding. Recently she has developed a kaupapa called ‘Kura’ which furthers this mahi. She talks about how it was developed and the aims of the initative.

“E kore au e ngaro, he kakano ahau i ruia mai i Rangiātea”

“I will never be lost, I am a seed sown from Rangiātea”


Crystal and her pepiThis metaphor best describes a new initiative I have recently been involved with in Tamatea Tapere (Central Hawke’s Bay). The name of this kaupapa, “Kura”, means the treasure or heirloom.

 This is a kaupapa dedicated to helping whānau explore their untapped potential, while nurturing the wellbeing and continuation of whakapapa at an environmental and human level. It focuses on mātua and mātua whāngai – supporting them to grow their cultural identity and belonging to ultimately grow positive experiences for their tamariki and mokopuna.

 What it will look like

 ‘Kura’ is a series of wānanga for wāhine, tāne and rangatahi. Through participation and engagement, whānau will grow their kete mātauranga and have a shift in mindset. This mindset shift is a tool that enables whānau to lead positive experiences in the parenting of their tamariki.

 Building whānau capability

 Scaffolding these learning experiences will also lead to building whānau connection to Te Ao Māori. Tamariki will benefit from this spreading of knowledge and information. It will foster a positive pathway for their future. Positive outcomes we hope to achieve include:

  • Taiao - navigating healthy ecosystems
  • Whanaungatanga - social connectedness
  • Manaakitanga - social wellbeing
  • Kaitiakitanga - building resilience
  • Rangatiratanga – capability, capacity and autonomy


The seed expressed in the whakatauki above depicts whakapapa or DNA.

The aspirations of ‘Kura’ is to nurture and inspire the seed within whānau to grow, for when regeneration occurs, the whakapapa is left in a healthy state.

Mauri ora.


About Crystal Pekepo

Crystal has been with the SKIP team for a little over two years now. Working out of Central Hawke’s Bay her passion lies with working with whanau to help them realise their true potential. Crystal is a wonderful māmā to five tamariki – two of whom are under 2.