June 27, 2019
Angel cloaks a gift of aroha to baby bereaved
Babies stillborn at Middlemore Hospital have been receiving small korowai as part of an initiative from Papakura Marae.
Marae chief executive Tony Kake says the so called 'angel cloaks' come out of the Whiri Aroha wānanga held at the marae every Monday morning.
It's run by Christine Smith and Ida White, who each received the Queen's Service Medal in this year's Queen's Birthday Honours.
He says hundreds of women and men have learned to make korowai at the marae, and along the way the idea of making the small cloaks first came up about three years ago and took off.
"It's not a regular occurence but it's enough to show our manaaki, show our aroha to the families when they are going through a rough time. Ninety nine percent of the time it's unplanned, they didn't realise their babies were going to pass at birth so it just lends a little bit of dignity, a little bit of aroha from our community to them," Mr Kake says.
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