Cassandra Moar says weaving safe sleeping baskets for babies is always special, whether you're the Prime Minister of New Zealand or a mother living in Otangarei.

The master weaver from Whangarei presented Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her partner Clarke Gayford with a special gift on Waitangi Day - a wahakura, a basket woven from muka flax for her baby to sleep safely in, and a waikawa, which is made with a different weave from tenax flax.

"Only women can give birth and she happened to be the Prime Minister and so everything was in place for me to do that for her."

This special signature on the wahakura refers to where Moar is from - 'I wanau mai ahau I te tahuna o te Kaipara' which means 'I come from the mudflats of the Kaipara.
This special signature on the wahakura refers to where Moar is from - 'I wanau mai ahau I te tahuna o te Kaipara' which means 'I come from the mudflats of the Kaipara.

The wahakura was developed as a culturally appropriate alternative to direct bed-sharing to tackle high rates of Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (SUDI).

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Ardern received the gift when as she was walking around the sports field meeting and greeting people on Tuesday.

Before she opened the present she wanted Gayford by her side.

"He must have gone to buy a mussel fritter or something," she said while searching for him.

He soon showed up and, as they opened the box, Ardern's eyes lit up, and the reaction was "oh wow".

This special signature on the wahakura refers to where Moar is from - 'I wanau mai ahau I te tahuna o te Kaipara' which means 'I come from the mudflats of the Kaipara.
This special signature on the wahakura refers to where Moar is from - 'I wanau mai ahau I te tahuna o te Kaipara' which means 'I come from the mudflats of the Kaipara.

Moar has been weaving since she was a child but has been making wahakura for about six years.

She said she loved being able to gift the Prime Minister a wahakura and waikawa. But for her, making something that saves lives is special whether it is going to the Prime Minister "or a mother in OT".

"I loved it. I loved the fact she's taken the time to discover, I'm not sure if she's familiar with wahakura or harakeke. She's made everyone feel equal I feel," Moar said.

Moar is contracted by Northland DHB to weave wahakura. She can make 20 in one day and said she made Ardern's wahakura and waikawa - which were blessed - two days before Waitangi Day.

"[Ardern] said words to this effect - she really really appreciates what I've done for this, all this weaving, it's going to make a huge difference she said and she will use it," Moar said.

This special signature on the wahakura refers to where Moar is from - 'I wanau mai ahau I te tahuna o te Kaipara' which means 'I come from the mudflats of the Kaipara.
This special signature on the wahakura refers to where Moar is from - 'I wanau mai ahau I te tahuna o te Kaipara' which means 'I come from the mudflats of the Kaipara.

The wahakura has a special signature on it which refers to where Moar is from - "I wanau mai ahau I te tahuna o te Kaipara" which means "I come from the mudflats of the Kaipara."

Jeanette Wedding – general manager of Child, Youth, Maternal, Oral, Public Health Services and District Hospitals - said the DHB has funded and distributed more than 900 Safe Sleep Spaces (wahakura and PepiPod) to whanau with infants who have SUDI risk factors.

"Northland DHB is really committed to ensuring that all babies in Northland have a safe sleep space."

There has been a 60 per cent reduction in SUDI rates in the region over a five-year period. In 2012 there were 10 deaths and as of September 2017 there were two.