Group meetings – or ‘whānau hui’ – are an important part of the HIPPY programme.

“The kaupapa of group meetings is to connect whānau with each other and to connect them to other services in the area – thereby combating isolation,” says Yvette Sievers, HIPPY National Advisor.

Kaikohe HIPPY Coordinator, Emily Rogers, recently shared a great example of this, where she took her HIPPY whānau to a local drop-in centre/pregnancy hub, plus ran a great enrichment activity making DIY deodorant.

Kaikohe HIPPY Whanau creating connections

“We really wanted to try something different to increase participation [in group meetings] so I went out to network with a new organisation in Kaikohe, the Mid North Pregnancy Unit… They were so eager to have us join them and see what we offer as a service too,” Rogers says.

Mid North Pregnancy Unit was set up to support whanau who are unsure about pregnancy and to provide a safe place for them and their young ones to relax and play.

“During these crazy COVID-19 times it was a proud moment having five of our whānau turn up with their HIPPY boxes, eager to check out the space, roleplay and learn."

Kaikohe HIPPY Whanau making natural deoderant

“Whānau were also very excited to learn how to make their own natural deodorant using only a few simple ingredients. The Mid North Pregnancy team also joined us in the activity. It was a great opportunity to talk about the effects of aluminium in deodorant, how to be more sustainable and how to save money,” Rogers told us.

Everyone went home that day with a 125ml jar of natural cream deodorant which would usually cost $40 plus in a health store.

“We made 12 jars with ingredients that cost $30 total! It was really nice to hear the whānau's ideas of what we could make at our next whānau hui,” Rogers says.

 Kaikohe HIPPY Whanau

Recipe for DIY Deodorant

¼ cup of Baking Soda

¼ cup of Tapioca Flour

4 tablespoons of Coconut Oil

3-4 drops of Essential Oils


Mix all ingredients together and put into jars.

(Makes 12 jars, 125ml)