Hauora | Health & Wellbeing

Completed Projects


Ngā Pou Senior Research Fellowship

The Ngā Pou Senior Research Fellow programme contributes to Māori health through developing evidence based information that can enhance Family Violence prevention and intervention approaches.  The research component aims to investigate Māori cultural expressions of emotions to develop a cultural framework that can be applied to Family Violence prevention and intervention work.  A key research aim is to explore cultural expressions of emotions to develop an in-depth understanding of a range of emotional states from a Māori perspective.  The research will also link to other studies that share common goals of identifying and describing pathways to wellbeing based on Māori and Indigenous definitions and indicators of health.  The impetus for the research component of the programme has come from Māori Providers, counsellors and community workers who are working alongside whānau.

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He Oranga Ngākau

He Oranga Ngākau is a research project funded by the Health Research Council, which aims to contribute to Māori models of health by exploring Kaupapa Māori Trauma Informed Care practice principles through conducting research that partners with Māori, and Indigenous practitioners to inform the development of a framework that supports both Māori and non-Māori practitioners working with whānau experiencing trauma.

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Honour Project Aotearoa

The Honour Project Aotearoa is a research project funded by the Health Research Council. The overall aim of ‘Honour Project Aotearoa’ is to undertake a research project that investigates the life experiences of Takatāpui to gain insight into understandings of health and wellbeing and investigates issues of access, provision and appropriateness of the health care services to this specific Māori community.

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Te Taonga o Taku Ngākau: Ancestral knowledge as a framework for tamariki wellbeing

Research demonstrates that Māori are overrepresented in a number of health and social parameters. There is also an increasing body of research, which highlight that these enduring issues can be traced back to the impact of colonisation culminating in issues of of cultural disconnection, isolation and marginalisation.

Traditional Māori approaches of child-rearing are steeped in a collective responsibility, rather than conventionally promoted approaches whereby it is considered an individual endeavour. There are myriad reasons for this this collapse of the collective approach including the issues associated with the historical trauma, denial of language and culture and the imposition of a nuclear family model superseding whānau.

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Tiakina Te Pā Harakeke

'Tiakina Te Pā Harakeke' was a project focused upon tikanga and mātauranga Māori models of wellbeing for whānau.  Te Pā Harakeke is a metaphor for whānau wellbeing. The project shared with whānau, and others, knowledge about raising children in ways that are grounded within tikanga Māori. The project provided access to the wisdom and approaches of a diverse range of people who have depth knowledge in tikanga and childrearing practices. The project supported the wellbeing of tamariki and whānau by providing information that helped to identify, learn and practice positive, cultural approaches to childrearing as practiced by our tupuna.


The Construction of the Indigenous Incarcerated Body: Māori and the School to Prison Pipeline

This project focuses on the construction of the School to Prison Pipeline for Māori. Statistics highlight that within Aotearoa there is an over-representation of Māori with the prison population. Research related to the Justice system indicates that disparities exist in the relation to Māori, including higher arrest rates, greater likelihood of conviction and longer sentencing imposed. It has been argued that these discrepancies are a consequence of wider societal inequities, including the educational underachievement of Māori, which creates a context of material poverty and cultural disconnection that contribute to Māori being more likely to engage in activities that lead to incarceration. Key outcomes for this project are high quality interdisciplinary research publications between Canada, Australia and Aotearoa, and building upon enduring strategic partnerships with leading research organisations.

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The role of resiliency in enhancing health and well-being in indigenous communities

This international Indigenous collaboration across Australia, New Zealand and Canada has explored resistance and resilience; the ways in which indigenous communities use their strengths to protect themselves and enhance their health and well-being in relation to blood-borne viruses (BBVs) and sexually transmitted intections (STI’s).  The project has used Indigenous and interdisciplinary approaches to determine how Indigenous people are able to protect themselves from infections such as hepatitis C and HIV despite the high rates found in some Indigenous communities across these countries. The New Zealand arm of the study, Mauri Tu Mauri Ora, – funded over three years by the Health Research Council - included researchers Dr Clive Aspin, (University of Sydney), Dr Mihi Ratima, Dr Nigel Dickson, (Dunedin School of Medicine), Dr Rhys Jones (University of Auckland) and Professor Linda Smith (University of Waikato).

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Tipping Points: The Relationship between Māori youth workforce participation and mental health

The project, led by Professor Linda Smith, is a collaboration between Te Kotahi Research Institute, National Institute for Demographic and Economic Analysis, Māori and Psychology Research Unit and Pou Tuia Rangahau from Te Rūnanga o Kirikiriroa to identify the relationship between Māori youth workforce participation and Māori mental health and to explore ‘tipping points’, risk factors relating to workforce participation which cause Māori youth to experience mental health issues.  This project is funded by Te Pou o te Whakaaro Nui, the National Centre of Mental Health Research, Information and Workforce Development.