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About Whakauae Research Services

Whakauae Research for Māori Health and Development was established by Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Hauiti in 2005.


The aim of establishing Whakauae was not only to develop the research capacity of Ngāti Hauiti but also to offer a broad range of Kaupapa Māori research services both nationally and internationally. Whakauae is unique in its position within Māori health research as it is directly accountable to Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Hauiti. We are recognised by our peers as very good researchers “producing robust research in a timely manner” and are passionate about transforming research results into change at a practice or policy level.  

Whakauae focuses primarily on Māori public health research, evaluation and health services and health policy research.  The team has grown from two staff initially in 2005 to eight staff members currently. Whakauae utilises largely Kaupapa Māori qualitative research methodologies however, through research partnerships we are able to offer a mixed method approach if the research requires this.

We are proud of our track record of sustainable, effective partnerships. We have strong community linkages with whānau, hapū and iwi not only in our rohe but also at the national level through the Iwi Chairs Forum.  We also partner with academic institutions and health service providers in the development and delivery of research.



Whakauae Research for Māori Health and Development) was established in 2005 as a unit of Te Maru o Ruahine Trust (TMORT); the contracting and service arm of Ngāti Hauiti, a small iwi located in central Rangitīkei. In 2012 Whakauae became a stand-alone entity, under the auspices of Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Hauiti.

Whakauae derives its name from Te Whakauae ā Tamatea or The Jawbone of Tamatea.  Tamatea Pōkai Whenua, a paramount ancestor of Ngāti Hauiti, journeyed into the Rangitīkei district from Heretaunga.  He marked his journey by naming a number of places and leaving several of his mōkai, or pets, throughout the district.  One area of land named after him was the hill country range between Mangaweka and Taihape known as Te Whakauae ā Tamatea.

In Māori tradition, the jawbone holds significant meaning as it refers to kauae-runga (celestial knowledge) and kauae-raro (terrestrial knowledge).  That knowledge was held within the whare kura, institutions of higher learning, providing guidance to be used in all walks of life. Te Whakauae ā Tamatea thus provides Ngāti Hauiti with a physical and cultural link to ancestral knowledge and traditions.

As the Ngāti Hauiti centre for research and development, Whakauae is a hub for the generation of knowledge that empowers Māori communities embodying the essence of Te Whakauae ā Tamatea. The aim of establishing Whakauae was twofold: to develop the research capacity of Ngāti Hauiti and to undertake high quality Māori-centred health research to inform, and contribute to, improved outcomes for Māori.


Whakauae Research Services



As the only iwi-owned Māori health research centre in Aotearoa New Zealand, we work under the direct guidance of a governance board comprising three iwi members further strengthening the ties between Whakauae and Ngāti Hauiti.

Our values, ngā tikanga o Whakauae, guide the activities we undertake as a research centre, both internally in our day to day business and externally in the community, in our dealings with funders or commissioners of research, with partners and with research participants. Our values link to, and derive from, the universal values set by our Rūnanga and provide greater detail on how we must conduct ourselves in the course of our business. The operating values that we embrace are presented below.


Ngā Tikanga o Whakauae

Ko te tīmatanga, ko ngā tikanga kua whārikihia e Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Hauiti mō ngā mahi katoa o ngā rōpu e mahi ana i raro i te maru o te iwi nei.  Ko ngā tikanga nui, ko te mana; rangatiratanga; kaitiakitanga; manaaki tangata me te whānaungatanga.  E kaha ana a Whakauae ki te hāpai i ēnei tikanga katoa, ōtirā, kei raro nei he māramatanga anō e pā ana ki ngā tikanga hei kaiārahi ki ngā mahi katoa o te rōpu rangahau nei.


Ko te Hauora Tangata te kaupapa matua. Ko ētahi o ngā āhuatanga nui e pā ana ki te kaupapa nei ko te tīnana, te wairua, te hinengaro me te oranga o te whānau. 

Hauora Tangata: Whakauae embraces a holistic understanding of what constitutes good health for all. We acknowledge the dimensions of the physical body, spirituality, knowledge and understanding, along with the wellbeing of the entire whānau as the key principles of wellbeing.


He mea nui ko te Manaaki Tangata i roto i ngā mahi katoa, ahakoa ko wai, ahakoa kei hea.

Manaaki Tangata: In all of our activities, programmes and relationships, we will uphold high standards of care and respect for the people and organisations with whom we interact.


Ko te Mātauranga e āheitia te whānaketanga mō ngāi tātou, mō te iwi Māori.

Mātauranga: We acknowledge that knowledge in itself encompassing academic achievement, excellence and mātauranga Māori is the key enabler of Māori growth and development.


Ko te Ngākau Tapatahi me te Aurere te waka kōkiri.

Ngākau Tapatahi Aurere: It is through professionalism, integrity, diligence and genuine passion that we aim to build our reputation and make true progress as a research service.


Ko te Rangatiratanga te kaupapa nūnui

Rangatiratanga: We will uphold the right of Māori to determine their own aspirations and the pathways for achieving them. As an iwi-owned entity, Whakauae is accountable to the Ngāti Hauiti Rūnanga, through our own governance board.