Helping bring the new hospital name and its interior concepts to life for tamariki, rangatahi and whānau are nine kaitiaki which will be present across the hospital building and are designed to make our tamariki and rangatahi feel supported and cared during their hospital journey.


Pronounced: Tee-ah-kee
Based on Pōhutukawa flower. Tiaki means to guard, keep, to look after, nurse, care, protect, conserve. Tiaki welcomes you to Te Wao Nui on the forest floor. Look out for their bright red feelers and big warm eyes. Tiaki is always happy to look out for you and guide you around level 2. ​


Pronounced: Heli
Heli is the most playful kaitiaki at Te Wao Nui. They keep everyone positive as they are getting better. You can spot Heli by their natural propeller hat that spins when they’re excited. Heli loves to drop by for visit, spin a story or share fun facts. ​


Pronounced: Core-figh

Kōwhai is a guiding light for those on level 3. They hang out in the sub-canopy or the middle of the forest. Look out for their bright yellow coat. 



Pronounced: Car-ha
Kaha is small but you can spot them by their big heart-shaped tail. Kaha’s feelers on top of their head can sense if you’re scared. So if you are feeling nervous, Kaha will always be there for you. Kaha is always up for trying new things and makes you feel brave and strong.


Pronounced: Pea-core
Piko sits high in the tree of life up in the canopy layer. Look out for them on level 4 with their bendy blue sprout. Piko loves to look out over the forest to see what’s happening. 



Pronounced: Awe-rah
Ora tends and heals Te Wao Nui. You can spot Ora by their protective mask and cape. They float around making sure everything is clean and safe by teaching you about hygiene. They make sure every​one is safe, comfortable and at ease. ​



Pronounced: Fern-nee
Fernie looks after everyone’s wellbeing by learning how to be respectful, caring and kind. You can spot Fernie by their magnificent fern frond, with many leaves. The more they learn, the taller their stalk grows.​

Tahi & Rua​

Pronounced: Tah-hee & Roo-ah
Tahi and Rua are the oldest & wisest of the kaitiaki whānau. They are never apart because they are the best of mates. Tahi is the Tuatara and Rua is their number two. They believe in the power of teamwork and they’ll always have your back. 

Watch Shannon Morris, our NZSL Lead introduce our kaitiaki whānau below

Last updated 16 August 2023.