Building Blocks for Hauora

Building Blocks for Hauora (Building Blocks) is a comprehensive tool developed to support early learning services (ELS) to establish and build healthy foundations for lifelong wellbeing in children.

The establishment of healthy behaviours in a child’s early years increases the likelihood that they will become second nature and continue throughout life.

Research consistently shows that healthy development in the early years provides the building blocks for lifelong health and wellbeing. The first 1,000 days of a child’s life are a time of great potential and incredible growth.  A baby’s brain is only 15% developed at birth but 85% developed at age three.  Early experiences, relationships and opportunities develop the brain and create a foundation for later health, social and emotional wellbeing.

Building Blocks was developed collaboratively with key stakeholders This co-design process ensured we developed a quality and sustainable resource that will meet the needs of ELS and ultimately support the health and wellbeing of children, parents and whānau.

Building Blocks is underpinned by our Pūrākau, Te Pā Harakeke: Te pā harakeke represents the strength of whānau. It is based on Te Whare Tapa Whā (the four cornerstones of hauora): taha wairua, taha tinana, taha hinengaro and taha whānau, which are the foundations for effective and meaningful whakawhanaungatanga. It is a model that speaks of collective unity and strength. With advice from local Māori kuia, Building Blocks is guided by the harakeke metaphor.

Building Blocks supports ELS to weave in many strands of knowledge for future generations: “Ngā whatu mātauranga mō ngā mokopuna.”

  • Building Blocks weaves in the principles and strands of Te Whāriki
  • Te Whare Tapa Whā 
  • He Pou Oranga Tangata Whenua (pathways to wellbeing)

Their are nine individual Blocks that each represents key aspect of hauora. Each block includes a checklist, sample policies, resources and handy actions. 

Early Learning services in the Bay of Plenty and Lakes districts are invited to sign up now to begin their Building Blocks journey by going to