In the lead up to Safe Sleep Day on December 7, Hāpai Te Hauora’s National SUDI Prevention Coordination Service will plant harakeke at Māngere Bridge School.
Service manager Fay Selby Law says the aim is to provide a source of pesticide-free harakeke for weavers of wahakura, the sleeping pods developed to keep pepi safe.
She says the project has been developed under the guidance of expert weavers, and the school was chosen because of the high incidence of SUDI in Counties Manukau.
Using harakeke and weaving is also an effective way to engage with whānau Māori.
"We want wahakura to be such a normal practice for our babies. It is a whānau Māori solution and it is an Aotearoa solution. In the future we would like to think all our babies, whatever their ethnicity, have the opportunity to sleep safely in a wahakura. What we are hoping out of this exercise is to show our tamarki are a normal practice to sleep your babies in and it starts with harakeke so we need to plant them," Ms Law says.