Promoting devices that enable safe bed-sharing has been a primary focus for Whakawhetū. The wahakura is the country’s first kaupapa Māori safe-sleeping device developed by the Nukutere Weavers’ Collective in Gisborne in 2006. The wahakura has a traditional forbear in the pōrakaraka, a similar pre-European structure slung from the rafters of the whare.
Research shows that whānau Māori like, and embrace the wahakura as a cultural device to keep baby safe. It is also an effective vessel around which to pass on a range of ante-natal messages. The major challenge for Whakawhetū is the issue of supply and demand. Their construction is highly time-consuming and requires the expertise of experienced Māori weavers.
Whakawhetū is currently working on the creation of a weavers database here on our website which will provide whānau with a number of sources to access wahakura around the country.