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We balance a research portfolio which includes a range of public health, health services and evaluation research. We strongly encourage our partners, including health services and community members, to think about research questions they want answered; therefore, making our research relevant to the population we serve.


Examples of current research that Whakauae is involved with include:  


Preventing Chronic Conditions Learning from participatory research with Māori

The Preventing Chronic Conditions project was funded by the Health Research Council in 2014. This study examines how the prevention of chronic conditions is being modelled, practiced and measured in three case study sites, namely Tui Ora Limited (Taranaki), Te Oranganui Iwi Health Authority (Whanganui) and Poutini Waiora  (Hokitika). Our aim is to understand how the priorities for the prevention of chronic conditions are being decided; the short term outcomes that are being achieved; and the lessons to be learnt from the development and implementation of these models for primary and secondary prevention of chronic conditions.  The research team consists of Drs Heather Gifford and Dr Amohia Boulton, Lynley Cvitanovic, Rachel Brown and Gill Potaka- Osborne (Whakauae Research), Dr Leslie Batten (Massey University), Dr Melissa Cragg (Independent) and Kiri Parata (Independent).  



Te Puawai o Te Ahi Kaa

Te Puawai o Te Ahi Kaa is a MoH funded innovation project being implemented by local hapū members of Raetihi Pah. The project sits under the umbrella of Te Oranganui Iwi Health Authority and seeks to enhance the wellbeing of whānau who live locally and who maintain the fires of occupation critical to sustaining tribal structures. Whakauae Research is working alongside the community to evaluate TPoTAK.  The project leads are Roberta Williams and Maaki Tuatini. Lead evaluator is Gill Potaka-Osborne (Whakauae Research).


Te Ara Auahi Kore (TAKe)

The TAKe project was funded by HRC in 2016 and will evaluate the impacts of tobacco control policies and interventions among Māori smokers and whānau, explore perceptions of potential new policies, and work with Māori health providers to stimulate evidence informed action. The three principal investigators are Anaru Waa and Bridget Robson (Otago University) and Dr Heather Gifford (Whakauae Research).




CERLS is a Ngā Pae o Te Māramatanga Seeding Grant allocated in 2016 to determine the cultural, ethical, research, legal and scientific (CERLS) framework for addressing issues on future Rongoā Māori research. The information gathered in this study will be used to develop the wider research framework, which in turn will underpin the development of a full research programme plan on Rongoā Māori.  The principal investigator is Dr Amohia Boulton (Whakauae Research) with Dr Glenis Mark and Dr Marion Johnson as co investigators (both Independent Researchers). 



STEPS (Strengthening Evaluation Practices and Strategies)

STEPS (Strengthening Evaluation Practices and Strategies) in Indigenous settings in Australia and New Zealand is a research project that aims to develop a set of evaluation principles to strengthen the evaluation practices of Indigenous and non-Indigenous evaluators and commissioners of evaluation, in Australia and New Zealand. The research team undertaking the work comprise university and community-based academics as well as community representatives. The collaboration includes Dr Margaret Cargo (formerly from the School of Population Health, University of South Australia, now based at University of Canberra); Dr Jenni Judd (Central Queensland University); Sharon Clarke (South Australia Health); Lisa Warner (YWCA, Adelaide) as well as Dr Amohia Boulton and Lynley Cvitanovic of Whakauae Research. The research is internally funded by the various research partners.


Commissioning for Change; examination of an indigenous commissioning model in Aotearoa

This collaboration with WAI Research and Whakauae investigates the development of the Whānau Ora commissioning model especially as it relates to Te Pou Matakana. The research team is Dr Tanya Allport and Haze White (WAI Research) and Drs Gifford and Boulton (Whakauae Research). The research is funded internally by the respective research partners.


Te Kete Tū-Ātea – Phase 2

The five iwi making up the Rangitikei Iwi Collective, Ngāti Apa, Ngāti Hauiti, Ngāti Tamakopiri, Ngai Te Ohuake, and Ngāti Whitikaupeka, identified a collective need to access good quality information about their individual iwi populations. The collective received Health Research Council funding in 2012 to carry out iwi-based research to develop an information framework. This research was completed in 2014 and an information framework was developed for each iwi. In 2015 Phase 2 of this work was initiated focusing on implementation of the framework and investigation of the implementation process and the potential impact on iwi governors and wider iwi members. Phase 2 was funded internally by Whakauae Research.  The key investigator on this project was Kirikowhai Mikaere (Independent).


Hospital transfers:  whānau involvement in the healing equation

This research was funded in 2016 by Ngā Pae o Te Māramatanga. The aim in this project is to understand and positively influence the interface between whānau and hospitals in order to present a roadmap of ways to facilitate active involvement in achieving optimal wellbeing outcomes for whānau members hospitalised away from home.  The project team are Drs Bridgette Awatere-Masters and Lyn Hunt (Waikato University), Dr Arama Rata (NIDEA Waikato), Drs Heather Gifford and Amohia Boulton and Ms Rachel Brown (Whakauae Research) and Dr Donna Cormack (University of Auckland).