Kanohi 2 Kanohi: Talitha Webster & Teiringatahi Webster-Tarei

We are honoured to share this touching kōrero between Talitha Webster and her daughter, Teiringatahi Webster-Tarei. To see this duo’s aroha and hononga (hononga tāngaengae*) is beautiful.

Being one of six children, this kanohi to kanohi is a unique opportunity for Teiringatahi to connect with her mum and ask the big questions, about everything from being a mum to having a boyfriend.

Talitha reflects on the unique traits of each of her tamariki and the way they also stem from her own passions. “One thing that [our] koroua said was don’t live my dreams through yous. That’s why I have allowed yous to go out and explore, whatever your fullas dreams are”. It’s this kind of open, supportive relationship that fosters connection between her and her tamariki.

Tautoko - support of whānau

Being a young mum means Talitha got to grow and learn while raising her young whānau, and saw Teiringatahi and her siblings grow up experiencing life with their wider whānau including nan, koro, uncles, aunties and cousins.

The collective support of whānau and friends is central to the way that Talitha keeps her tamariki safe and protected. Knowing that she could ring nan or whānau at the drop of a hat and they would come to help if one of her tamaiti were injured provided a foundation that enabled the family to thrive.

This support was no more evident than when her daughter’s head was injured by falling over onto drawers and Nan didn’t hesitate to come running. “She just knows - oh well, I need to be there for my girl”.

Supportive and resilient spaces and relationships for the whānau can also be seen through karakia and the church. The respect and love that this duo have for one another is beautiful.

“To me, my mum is my hero. Because she is always there to look after me, she will be there in a heartbeat to make sure I am alright and she is my number one supporter”.

Top tips to keep your tamariki safe from falls:

  • Use approved safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs and attach them securely to the wall, if possible.

  • Properly install window guards and stops to prevent window falls. Windows above the first floor should have an emergency release device in case of fire.

  • Use brackets, braces or wall straps to secure unstable or top-heavy furniture to the wall such as dressers, bookcases and mirrors. It’s also a good idea to put stops on dresser drawers to prevent them from being fully pulled out.

  • Rearrange drawers and shelves so that heavy items are lower down.

Talitha Webster and Teiringatahi Webster-Tarei, thank you for sharing your story and beautiful mother daughter dynamic. Your story contributes to the health of tamariki and whānau across Aotearoa.

*Hononga tāngaengae - we refer to this as the intimate bond of interconnectedness for a foetus and a mother, recognizing the shared life force and interdependency of child to mother and mother to child through the umbilical cord. The context translates to the intrinsic connection of Talitha and Teiringatahi.