UNICEF works in NZ and globally to save children’s lives, to defend their rights, and to help them fulfil their potential, from early childhood through adolescence.

Pia meets Te Kohanga Reo pioneer4

Arohanui ki te Tangata Marae – Pia meets Te Kōhanga Reo pioneer Te Ātiawa rangatira Dr Ihakara Puketapu 


UNICEF NZ National Committee recently had a visit from Dr Pia Rebello Britto, UNICEF Chief and Senior Adviser for Early Childhood Development and Vathinee Jitjaturunt, Deputy Representative for UNICEF Pacific Multi-Country Office. Highlights of their visit included a trip to one of the first NZ Te Kōhanga Reo (Indigenous EC centre), He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua (Kindy Association with Pasifika ECCE centres), CID talk, government meetings with Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade on global and Pacific ECD and with Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet on the NZ Child Wellbeing Framework. 


Pia and Vathinee enjoyed the opportunity to understand the indigenous cultural lens that Maori and Pasifika use to frame their early childhood development.












Key messages shared by Dr Britto were

  • 43 percent of children in low- and middle-income countries are at risk of not achieving their cognitive potential.[1]
  • The relationship between genes and environment is closer than previously known
  • Timing matters - early intervention is the answer.
  • Multisectoral interventions are required such as nourishing the mind = nutrition, reducing toxic stress during early childhood, early brain stimulation.
  • Babies can't thrive if their worlds are disrupted by poverty, stunting and a lack of love and care.

Please find the presentation slides from Dr Britto's CID Talk here.

The video of the presentation will be uploaded soon.