Māori & Psychology Research Unit

Our Mission

The Māori and Psychology Research Unit (MPRU), established in 1997, is a rapidly developing initiative designed to provide a catalyst and support network for enhancing research which has at its centre the psychological needs, aspirations, and priorities of Māori people. By networking and establishing working relationships with staff and students within the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences as well as the University community, the MPRU has the capacity to draw together skilled and experienced interdisciplinary research groups able to deliver research that is of high quality.

An important role played by the MPRU is in providing invaluable practical experience to both Māori and non-Māori students through involvement in Māori focussed research, planning and management, as well as professional development activities. As scholarly pursuit and the development of students is part of the University's core business, the MPRU, through winning grants and awards, helps to provide options for students to supplement their income, and more importantly to further their academic development.

An advisory service anchored by the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi, is provided by the MPRU, to researchers on culturally appropriate research methods and ethical standards to maintain when working with Māori. MPRU also provides a networking function with other Māori researchers and Centres in New Zealand/Aotearoa. A recruitment and training service for research assistants to achieve tasks specific to MPRU research projects is also provided.

Our Approach

Partnership, participation and protection, the corner stone principles of the Treaty of Waitangi, informs our approach to working with clients, communities, colleagues, students, and, grant and contracting agencies. It is important to us to clearly determine the needs of stakeholder groups and to ensure their participation in any project that we undertake. This enables us to work closely, and in partnership, with stakeholders to deliver useful research products. All research undertaken by the University of Waikato, must first be reviewed by an appropriate Ethics Committee to ensure that the rights and interests of people, organisations, agencies and communities are being properly protected.

The MPRU actively seeks grants, contracts and projects that are specifically matched to the academic interests, expertise and skills of staff and students associated with the unit. This approach ensures compatibility, on going interest, excitement and productivity on the part of those engaged on projects.

Our Goals

  • To provide a support structure which encourages Māori focussed research in psychology.
  • To serve as a scholarly resource to support Māori focussed research projects and to promote new research initiatives among staff, undergraduate and graduate psychology students.
  • To seek out new sources of research funding, respond to requests for proposals and tenders relevant to Māori issues, and to obtain continued external funding for Māori focussed psychological research.
  • To facilitate the professional development of Māori researchers and to continue to develop future leaders in Māori focussed research and psychology.
  • To provide a foundation for the teaching of psychology by enhancing availability and access to Māori focussed research experience and products.
  • To promote the use of Māori focussed research products into the School of Psychology’s curriculum.
  • To facilitate internal and external lectures and research seminars to support the development of new projects and disseminate the work of scholars in the Unit.
  • To host visiting researchers and scholars.
  • To encourage collaborative research in Māori focussed projects across disciplines.