Meet Our Experts: Midwife & Hapū Wānanga Educator, Tawera Trinder

Tawera Trinder from Hapū Wānanga Taranaki

Meet Tawera Trinder, our go-to expert for all your birth and postpartum questions from a kaupapa Māori perspective. Each month we’ll be posting a question box on our Instagram where you can write in, then we’ll put your pressing questions to our expert panel.

Ko wai koe?

Ko Taranaki te Mounga
Ko Waiongana te awa
Ko Te Atiawa te iwi
Ko Puketapu raua ko Pukerangiora nga hapū
Ko Muru Raupatu te papa Marae
Ko Trinder tōku whānau ingoa
Ko Tawera tāku ingoa.


Tell us about yourself.

My name is Tawera Trinder, I live in Bell Block, Taranaki on my papakainga (homestead) and I am currently at home with my 8-month-old baby as well as facilitating and running Hapū Wānanga Taranaki, a kaupapa Māori childbirth education programme.


What are your qualifications and how long have you been working in this area for?

I have a bachelors degree in midwifery and have been a practising midwife for 7 years.


What does an average day in your role look like?

Dependent on what mahi is due, I carry out administration for Hapū Wānanga which may consist of scheduling for the programme and email communication with service providers and primary health organisations. I make up social networking posts to advertise or promote our beautiful kaupapa. I also prepare wahakura koha packs which consist of a weaved baby bed, mattress, Aho pēpi cotton wrap, kawakawa balm, labour balm, woollen blankets and clothing, just to name a few.


When you’re not taking Hapū Wānanga, what other mahi do you do day-to-day?

Caring for my 8-month-old baby, Kārearea.
I am continuing my journey in learning Te Reo and raising my baby to speak Te Reo.
Thinking of innovative ideas to uplift our kaupapa or myself.
I often sit with my dad and learn about tikanga – this could be from catering on the marae to traditional carving and its practice.


Tell us in five words how the māmā and whānau attending your programme would describe you.

Ooh this is a hard one, perhaps that they really “appreciate the knowledge and empowerment.”

Tawera Trinder at Hapū Wānanga Taranaki
When it comes to taking care of māmā, what are you most passionate about?

Instilling the traditional ways of our tūpuna. Using their principles and practices and adopting to our contemporary ways today. I am passionate about natural and normal ways and techniques to adopt, opposed to modern day conveniences and apparatuses. Examples include: breastfeeding, natural techniques during labour and birth, the use of natural materials for clothing and bedding, to name a few.


What are the most common challenges you see māmā facing during pregnancy and postpartum, and how do you help them through Hapū Wānanga?

It is so common that women are significantly influenced by social media and peer pressure. Often unnecessary gadgets that can be unsafe and expensive, placing unnecessary pressure. Stories of others’ positive or negative experiences can impact on a woman’s birth plan. Birth place and fear of birthing. The façade of the postpartum life is often misleading and in reality, it can be a very lonely, challenging and isolating period.


What is your health and wellbeing philosophy, especially in terms of Te Whare Tapa Whā?

To incorporate all four concepts, maintaining each or working on the unbalanced one/s. Having a goal for each wall each day or week to try and maintain. Uplifting others by supporting, actively listening and being a part of a supportive community.

Follow Hapū Wānanga Taranaki on Instagram @hapuwananga.