Welcome to Awhi Ngā Mātua,  an online community for parents of tamariki with disabilities



About Awhi Ngā Mātua

Awhi Ngā Mātua is a safe place created for parents, by parents. It’s a place to celebrate our incredible children, to find solidarity and support, and to be seen and heard by people who understand you and what you’re going through. You won’t just be joining a private online community where you can connect with and awhi other parents who know what it’s like - you’ll be part of a movement. We will grow together as we learn together with the support of a powerful knowledge base that will help us to spark positive change as a community.

Benefits of our community

Information you can trust

A website knowledge base of practical, parent-focused information to help you navigate the disability journey.

Safe & Private

A private online community where you can connect with and awhi other parents who know what it’s like.

By parents for parents

This community has been created and codesigned by and with parents.

Nāu te rourou, nāku te rourou, ka ora ai te iwi. We are only as strong as each other. Together, let's create a flourishing community where we can all thrive.

Team members

Elizabeth Goodwin

I'm Elizabeth Goodwin, I became a bit of an activist when I joined with a group of parents to advocate for inclusion. Those parents are still my friends and I've told them things I've never told anyone else because I know they won't judge. Over the past couple of years I've spent a lot of time with young parents looking at ways we can address the challenges they face. Isolation and loneliness has been a common theme and that's where the idea for Awhi came from. I'm looking forward to working with you to develop this - keep the ideas and feedback coming.

Phil Clarke

I’m Phil Clarke. I’ve worked in the library and information sector since the mid-1990s. I’ve seen a lot of change in libraries over that time and I’m excited about supporting the work of Awhi Nga Matua. I live in Wellington with my family.

Emily Writes

I'm Emily Writes. I'm a parent to two incredible kids and I live in Wellington. My children and the families I met on the children's ward radicalised me! I realised I wanted to devote my life to creating and supporting communities as I truly believe we are stronger together. Awhi is very precious to me and I can't wait to work with you to make it a safe place to land for all parents.

Ma’ao Vaireka

I te taha o tōku Whaea

Ko Taranaki te Maunga

Ko Ouri te Awa

Ko Ngaruahine te Iwi

Ko Titahi te Hāpu

Ko OEO te Marae

I te taha o tōku Papa

E Moutere Pito Enua Noku

Ko Aitutaki te Ara Rau Enua

E Vaka Noku ko Ngapuariki

E Kopu Ariki noku ko Tamatoa

Ko Tatiana raua ko Lania oku tamahine

Ko Kylie tōku hoa wāhine

Ko Ma’ao Vaireka tōku ingoa

Awhi experts

Awhi experts come from a range of professional backgrounds and have a depth of expertise of value to parents. We will also be linking with the Ministries of Health, Education and Social Development as questions come in to give fast, accurate replies - while keeping your information anonymous. We have the support of IHC Advocacy who can help with navigating tricky times.

Over time, we’ll be broadening these partnerships as we learn more about what you need to know and who can help.


IHC Library

The IHC Library is free to use and open to anyone living in New Zealand. They information on all aspects of intellectual disability, autism and other developmental disabilities built up over many years.

Bamboo Creative

Bamboo Creative is a digital agency based in Pōneke. A team of digital Strategists, UX designers and Developers with expertise in bringing impact driven projects to life.

Want to get involved?

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