It’s about being connected

Whanaungatanga is about relationships. It is about whānau working together to make decisions and act in ways that support the betterment of everyone in the whānau.

Strong whānau invest their time and energy in activities they can do together.

Whītiki te tangata, mārama te kitea

The tighter the bond, the brighter the light

What is Whanaungatanga?


Whanaungatanga is about relationships, kinship, and a sense of family connection. It is about relationships lived through shared experiences and working together to provide people with a sense of belonging. Whanaungatanga develops as a result of kinship rights and obligations, and it strengthens each member of the kin group. It also extends to others who we develop close familial, friendship or reciprocal relationships with.

This tohu shows the Mangōpare design. It represents the coming together of two people in a relationship. It symbolises strength, courage, power, determination and a fighting spirit.

This tohu also depicts two cultures mixing and blending, and beginning a journey together. The top motif meets the bottom motif on equal terms and on common ground, where all great relationships start.

Resources based on Whanaungatanga

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

Printed resources

Image of the cover of the Whanaungatanga booklet - one of six which explore the E Tū Whānau values

Whanaungatanga – 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 Whanaungatanga and to explore other areas that strengthen and build mana.

Video resources

Visual resources which take a look at Whanaungatanga in action include:

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.