Kōrero awhi

Positive communication and actions

Kōrero awhi is about being able to communicate clearly, positively and with compassion. Strong whānau talk about the small, trivial matters as well as the complex, serious issues in life.

Open, supportive communication helps whānau relate and feel connected to each other. It means they are able to understand one another better.

He tao rākau e taea te karo, he tao kupu e kore e taea te karo

The thrust of a spear can be avoided, but not the thrust of words

What is kōrero awhi?


This tohu shows the arero (tongue) of a taiaha. It is a subtle reminder to us all to learn who we are, to learn about our history, where we come from, our genealogy, and about our families.

The tohu on the arero shows the elements of caring, nurturing, and embracing. The arero reminds us that we are able to speak our truth, able to express ourselves through sounds, actions, and words.

By combining the two elements, kōrero and awhi, the tohu shows cooperation and collaboration. Each whānau maintains their own autonomy but is linked with others by kōrero that flows freely from one generation to the next, supported by one another with care and love, as progress is made.

The Kōwhai Ngutu Kākā pattern is used to show the nurturing of a person’s journey to learn their history or origins. The Mangopare pattern is used to show strength and knowledge, and the Rauru (spiral) pattern depicts coming together.


E Tū Whānau has developed a number of resources to support whānau exploring and deepening their connection with Kōrero awhi.

Printed resources based on Kōrero awhi

Image of the cover of the Kōrero awhi – one of the set of booklets exploring the six E Tū Whānau values

Kōrero awhi – this downloadable booklet is one in a series which explores the six E Tū Whānau values.

Sets of the whole series of booklets are available for ordering from our Resources page.

Activities for whānau support whānau to reconnect with Kōrero awhi and to explore other areas that strengthen and build mana.

Video resources

Visual resources which take a look at Kōrero awhi in action include:

Atiawa Toa FM announcer, Alana Broughton, shares her thoughts on kōrero awhi

Want to know more?

Explore the range of E Tū Whānau resources designed to support positive transformations in whānau, hapū and hapori

Read about E Tū Whānau, how the kaupapa includes refugees and migrants, or stories of positive change and growth from whānau across Aotearoa.