News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Tackling kids’ asthma part of $4.2m awarded for Māori health

****Embargoed until 6am, Thursday, 6 June 2013****

Tackling kids’ asthma in school part of $4.2m awarded for Māori health research

A comprehensive school-based programme to help reduce the burden of asthma for Māori children has received $1.2 million in the annual Health Research Council of New Zealand (HRC) funding round.

Ms Bernadette Jones (Ngāti Apa, Nga Wairiki) from the University of Otago will use the funding – part of $4.2 million awarded through the HRC’s Rangahau Hauora Māori investment stream – to develop a Māori-centred asthma toolkit for children that will help primary schools better support asthmatic children. Ms Jones and her team will then assess the effect of the toolkit on children’s school absences, asthma knowledge, self-management and control, and quality of life. 

“Significant improvements in health outcomes could be made by increasing asthma support for Māori children who are twice as likely to be hospitalised as non-Māori children. Children with asthma face many difficulties: they often feel marginalised due to the inability to take part in normal activities, especially Māori children who suffer more severe symptoms and have more time off school,” says Ms Jones.

“How schools support children with asthma can significantly impact on their asthma control and set up psychological and behavioural patterns that may influence their longer term control or adherence to treatment.”

Dr Beverley Lawton (Ngāti Porou) from the University of Otago has also been awarded $1.2 million to examine why pregnant, or recently delivered, Māori women may be at increased risk of severe acute maternal morbidity (SAMM), whether the severity of disease is preventable, and what impact any disproportionate burden of harm has on Māori women, their whānau and the health service. This national project will study women admitted to an intensive care or high dependency unit during pregnancy or within 42 days of delivery.

“In New Zealand, little is known about the quality of maternal health care for Māori women other than the resultant poor perinatal and maternal death outcomes. The reasons behind maternal and infant health disparities need to be examined at every level of the maternity service, both to fill in the knowledge gaps and to facilitate the development of interventions to reduce these disparities,” says Dr Lawton.

Mr Andrew Sporle (Ngāti Apa, Rangitāne) of The University of Auckland will also use his research grant to help reduce the rates of preventable deaths in Māori. He will undertake a statistical analysis of data from the death records from 1996 onwards as well as Census. The information produced will identify key regional, gender and age-associated differences related to preventable Māori mortality rates.

“Working in partnership with the National Hauora Coalition and a district health board, we will develop processes to include this research information into the planning, delivery and monitoring of health and social interventions,” says Mr Sporle.

Finally, Massey University Associate Professor Helen Moewaka Barnes (Ngāti Wai, Ngāti Hine) will investigate how Māori understand themselves and their health, and examine how these different ‘health identities’ affect their interactions and engagement with health interventions and messages.

For details of the 2013 HRC Rangahau Hauora Māori project recipients, see below or go to to view the full list of project recipients.

Associate Professor Helen Moewaka Barnes (Ngāti Wai, Ngāti Hine), Massey University
Māori health identities: affecting and driving health?
36 months, $666,299

Ms Bernadette Jones (Ngāti Apa, Nga Wairiki), University of Otago
He Kura: Asthma support for Māori tamariki at school
36 months, $1,199,064

Dr Beverley Lawton (Ngāti Porou), University of Otago
Addressing the burden and preventability of severe acute maternal morbidity
36 months, $1,199,906

Mr Andrew Sporle (Ngāti Apa, Rangitāne), The University of Auckland
Preventable Māori mortality
36 months, $1,199, 945


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'

The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>

Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland