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$1.2m to aid research into Maori health


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - 29 April 2008
$1.2m to aid research into Maori health

Grants worth a total of $1.2m are being offered to researchers to look into the health and social wellbeing of MAori.

The Health Research Council of New Zealand (HRC) in partnership with the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology has invested jointly in a fund to support research on WhAnau Ora.

The aim is to focus on the distinct needs of MAori, using enterprising solutions that arise from MAori knowledge, people and resources, to tackle social inequalities and help formulate future health policy.

A funding pool of $900,000 is available for projects of up to three years that look at the challenges for whAnau, HApū, Iwi and MAori communities in achieving whAnau ora.

Aroha Haggie, Group Manager MAori Health Research and Health Sector Relationships at the HRC, said: "We are delighted to offer funding that will draw on knowledge and ideas in the community to help improve the lives of MAori for future generations. We are seeking research that addresses MAori social and health inequality and will contribute to an improved understanding of interrelated causes."

Previous projects have included a scheme to reduce the uptake of tobacco smoking, an activity group for young people and a study of how plants traditionally used in
MAori medicine can be effectively used to treat ailments.

This year the focus is specifically on whanau ora in health and studies may consider, for example, the prevalence of diabetes or oral health in MAori communities.

In addition, a total of $300,000 is being offered for advisory and seeding grants, which are targeted at community-based groups, and will pay for expert advice to help the group prioritise their research needs and look at practical ways to carry out studies. There are also opportunities for community organisations to develop a research and development strategy.

Ms Haggie said: "Any organisation that wants to undertake research into issues related to WhAnau Ora is eligible to apply. The team as a whole must have the capacity and capability to undertake research with MAori communities."

Project grant applicants must express an interest by 20 June 2008, which is also the closing date for the advisory grants. The outcomes will be announced later this year.
For more details contact Aroha Haggie on 09 303 5207 or email her at
ahaggie@hrc.govt.nz


Ends

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