Te tatau o te whare kahu
In Maori ‘Te tatau’ refers to the gateway to a marae. During a powhiri, certain protocols and rituals take place and it is only on completion of these, that newcomers are able to pass through the gateway onto the marae. This symbolises the Council's responsibility for registration of midwives, providing permission for them to practise.
Kahu refers to ‘the membrane enveloping the unborn baby’. Whare kahu emphasises the protective nature of Council’s role to protect the public by ensuring midwives are competent to practise.
Whare kahu also refers to a place for lying-in for high-born women. This application elevates the significance of childbirth for society including women and midwives, their whānau and children.
Painting of Dame Whina Cooper by artist Suzy Pennington
Dame Whina, awarded the title of Te Whaea o te Motu (Mother of the Nation) by the Mäori Women's Welfare League, holds a special place in New Zealand history as a founder of the League and because of her long life devoted to the service of her people and to the wellbeing of women and children. She particularly stressed the value of primary health and the importance of good midwifery services being available to Mäori women and their whanau. The whakatauki (Mäori proverb) on the painting is the chant "ruia, ruia" from the Muriwhenua iwi of the Far North and symbolises inspiration, challenge and hope. The painting hung in the Council's original office and now hangs in the foyer of the executive area of Regulatory Authority offices.