Kete Menemene

July 2020

Auckland Regional Dental Service

Team Members: Jessica Kwong, Phoebe Lee

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The Auckland Regional Dental Service (ARDS) would like to improve their engagement with tamariki and their whānau to increase equitable access to dental care.

Two out of five tamariki who visit the dentist have tooth decay. This is a leading cause of preventable hospital stays in Aotearoa. We acknowledge Māori and Pasifika communities are less likely to engage with ARDS. We explored the opportunity to support ARDS to become more welcoming and encourage tamariki and their whānau to care for their dental health. 

In this project, we focused on increasing awareness and education on the importance of dental health. In order, to inspire attendance and engagement within our vulnerable communities.  

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Kete Menemene is a resource for tamariki and whānau to take ownership of their wellbeing. Kinesthetic learning helps to remove barriers for illiterate and atypical tamariki. We have taken a cheeky approach in our character illustrations to appeal to a younger audience.   


There are 2 decks of cards to play 3 games, available as a set or in separate decks. Each game caters to a different age range. Kete Menemene is for the community at schools, libraries, and extracurricular groups. Aimed towards the whole whānau, older tamariki can teach younger ones how to play the games.  

With the Māwhero deck, you can play Smile Buddies or Tooth Attack.

• Smile buddies is a simple pair matching game.

It provides an introduction to oral health and gentle exposure to dental equipment.

• Tooth Attack takes an antagonistic approach.

This game expresses that teeth are irreplaceable,

if you lose it, it’s lost for good. It reinforces the values of protection and guardianship.  

With the Kākāriki deck, you can play Toothy Tales. This game endeavours to echo the rich storytelling tradition of Māori. It offers creativity, self-expression, and imagination. 

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