Safe Sleep / Taranaki Tau te moe


Tau te tamaiti, tau te ahuru, tau te moe

Tau te tamaiti, tau te āhuru, tau te moe is the name and tagline gifted to the Safe Sleep Programme at Te Whatu Ora Taranaki by matua Ruakere Hond.

Translated it would be interpreted as 'Sleep well'. The tagline clarifies that it is focused on the child, and is about their safety.

Tau has many meanings but in this context it means settled, calm and peaceful.
Tamaiti means child
Āhuru linked to "āhuru mōwai" the protective environment of the womb - to be protected, safe and comfortable.
Moe means sleep


SUDI is the umbrella term encompassing many causes of death in the first year of an infant’s life that are unexpected by the family. These deaths generally occur during sleep, and no cause is found. More than 50% of deaths occur in a bed-sharing context.

S The death was SUDDEN in nature
U The death was UNEXPECTED by caregiver
D The DEATH was quick and quiet
I An INFANT died (an infant is under the age of 1 year old)

The Taranaki Tau te moe programme provides safe sleep education and safe sleep devices for pepi at risk of SUDI. 

Risk factors
Factors that contribute to babies being at risk of SUDI include:

  • exposure to smoking, especially in pregnancy
  • being born premature (before 37 weeks)
  • having a low birth weight (less than 2500 grams at birth)
  • bed-sharing/co-sleeping
  • not sleeping baby on their back

Referrals to attend the Taranaki Tau te moe programme can be made by your midwife, WellChild provider or other health professional.

Safe sleep devices
Two types of safe sleep devices available to choose from, both of which come with linen and bedding.


The wahakura is a flax-woven, in-bed capable infant bed that enables families/whānau to keep baby close, including during sleep. Wahakura raranga (plaiting) and whiri (braiding) weaving techniques must combine to produce rigid/sturdy sides that will prevent collapsing, ensure a flat base and provide overall strength that guarantees baby’s safety.

Pepi Pods®

The Pēpi Pod is an in-bed capable infant bed, made from polypropylene, a food-grade plastic, and fitted with mattress and bedding.

Photo used with permission from Change for our Children Limited

Safe sleep device referrals (lead maternity carers)

There are a number of factors that can cause a baby to be more at risk of SUDI, some of which include being born very small or preterm and maternal smoking. If you’re a lead maternity carer who is caring for someone who could benefit from free safe sleep education and a safe sleep device (wahakura or pepi-pod), please complete the form below and email it to Te Whatu Ora Taranaki SUDI prevention coordinator,

In word:
Safe Sleep Device Referral Form (WORD 91 KB)

Safe Sleep Device Referral Form (PDF 187 KB)

Safe sleep for P.E.P.E

Place baby in their own baby bed in the same room as their parent or caregiver. 

Eliminate smoking in pregnancy and protect baby with a smokefree whānau, whare and waka. 

Position baby flat on their back to sleep, face clear of bedding. 

Encourage and support breastfeeding and gentle handling of baby.    

Last updated: Tuesday, April 11, 2023

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