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New research shows gaps widening for Māori

Media Release
Thursday, October 27 2016

New research shows gaps widening for Māori

Wai-Research today launches two important publications that look into Māori child wellbeing and the widening gaps in Māori Mental Health, as well as announcing Emeritus Professor Sir Mason Durie as Pou (Patron) of the research unit.

Wai-Research is responsible for a research programme that supports Te Whānau o Waipareira to evidence the best outcomes for whānau. In line with Te Whānau o Waipareira’s 25 year generational strategy, the priority for the research programme is to drive innovation that empowers whānau to prosper.

Sir Mason Durie has been instrumental in the development of best outcomes for Maori families throughout his career, and especially through his contribution to Whānau Ora. One of New Zealand’s most eminent academics, Sir Mason’s research on whānau development and kaupapa Māori research imperatives have provided a significant knowledge base from which to advance Maori research in general, and in specific a community based Māori research entity such as Wai-Research.

With his substantial knowledge of Māori health research, Sir Mason has been instrumental in guiding and advising Wai Research since its inception in 2014. Te Whānau O Waipareira are honoured to utilise this opportunity of the publication launch to officially acknowledge Sir Mason in the newly founded position of Pou [Patron].

The two research reports that Sir Mason will be launching in his new position, ‘He Puāwaitanga o Ngā Tamāriki: West Auckland Whānau talk about Child Wellbeing’ and ‘Kaupapa Māori models of Psychological Therapy and Mental Health Services’ underpin Waipareira’s strategic aim to contribute to a knowledge base for whānau, with the ultimate aim of creating strategies where whānau hopes and opportunities can flourish.

He Puāwaitanga o Ngā Tamāriki: West Auckland Whānau talk about child wellbeing’ is a research partnership between Wai Research and Dr Tim Jelleyman, a paediatrician specialising in community child health for the Waitemata District Health Board.

While there are various publicly defined concepts of what constitutes child wellbeing which have traditionally driven health policy and practice, the aim of this research is to hear the voices of West Auckland Māori parents, grandparents, and caregivers to get insight of what child wellbeing means to them. ‘He Puāwaitanga o Ngā Tamāriki’ is the analysis of these stories, and identifies broad themes that were articulated by West Auckland families.

The report shares the findings and aspects that Māori families identified as foundational to child wellbeing, and which are not currently captured by child wellbeing measurement approaches. The research highlights the importance of finding meaningful ways for the community to participate in conversations around improving child wellbeing, so that targeted and specific strategies based on the actual needs and realities of urban Māori communities, rather than generic Government priorities, are achieved.

Kaupapa Māori models of Psychological Therapy and Mental Health Services’ is a literature review funded by the Health Research Council, which focuses on identifying gaps in the current knowledge around the frameworks and application of kaupapa Māori based psychological therapy. Authored by medical student Acacia Wratten-Stone as part of her HRC Māori Summer studentship, the rationale for the report is based on the high incidence of poor mental health outcomes among Māori and low rates of service utilisation.

The research also focused on the current lack of understanding of whether current services are, in fact, providing culturally appropriate care, and if so, what this looks like. Even less investigated are the specific needs of urban Māori, and how the current existing literature might inform the development of appropriate mental health strategies and services by a health and social service provider such as Te Whānau o Waipareira.

Programme_Wai_Research_launch.pdf

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