Waipareira has launched its own research unit – 18 years after the idea was first floated.
Waipareira Chief Executive Officer John Tamihere said the intelligence and information gathered by Wai-Research will validate the work Waipareira does in the community.
“We have struggled to get research that evaluates, measures and informs, in a timely rather than historical way, where we are heading to either mandate or inform why we should change conduct,” Mr Tamihere said.
“Society and the community is moving in a very dynamic way and the provision of health, welfare and education has to be as dynamic.
“This intelligence cannot be captured by the providers or bureaucrats.”
Mr Tamihere said Waipareira made a bid in 1996 to establish a community-based research centre. The government of the day instead decided they would be better served by units at Otago, Canterbury, Victoria, Massey and Auckland Universities.
“There was never a bridge built out to the community (from the Universities) and what Te Whānau O Waipareira provides is the ability to build on very robust research capability,” he said.
“The launch of the Research Centre, albeit almost 20 years after the fact, shows if you persevere, things will work out for your community.”
The Wai-Research team is headed by Edith McNeil – Director of Wai-Research, along with Dr Tanya Allport and Dr John Huakau.
Supporting Wai-Research is its long-term partnership with Massey University. A partnership which was formalised by a Memorandum of Understanding 2 years ago.
Dr Te Kani Kingi, Director Māori of Massey University leads this partnership on behalf of Massey.
“The launch of Wai-Research signals an important and exciting development for the organisation,” Dr Kingi said.
“The Unit will provide an opportunity for Waipareira to prioritise and investigate issues of importance, to better understand these and examine, and to ultimately apply this knowledge in ways that benefit their community.
“I’m excited to be part of this development and the ongoing growth of the organisation.”
Wai-Research Director Edith McNeil – Ngāti Paoua, Te Rarawa, Te Aupōuri, Ngāti Whātua, Whakatōhea
Edith has a P.GradDip (PGDip) in Health Science majoring in Māori Health. Prior to working with Te Whānau O Waipareira, she was a Māori Planning and Funding Manager for the Waitemata DHB. Edith has an extensive background in leading and supporting research initiatives particularly in the 3rd sector. This combined with her extensive experience in the development and implementation of policies across sectors sees her being able to take a strong leadership role in supporting the direction of research aligned with the needs of Te Whānau O Waipareira.
Senior Research Lead - Tanya Allport - Te Āti Awa, German and Scottish
Tanya has a BA, MA and PhD graduate from the University of Auckland, where she wrote her thesis on Māori and German women’s representation of psychological trauma. Before being awarded her PhD, Tanya worked at the University of Auckland’s Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences in the Department of Māori and Pacific Health, where she coordinated and tutored on the Hikitia Te Ora Foundation Programme for Māori and Pacific students. More recently, Tanya was a Senior Researcher for Treaty of Waitangi claims, and has submitted several research reports to the Waitangi Tribunal on behalf of Treaty claimants. These reports ranged from research into impacts of the Emissions Trading Scheme on Māori claimants, to research in Health and Education issues, as well as specific land-block alienation histories.
Epidemiologist John Tupou Huakau - Tongan and English
John has a BSc (with Honors), MSc (with Distinction), PGDip (in Public Health) and PhD Graduate from the University of Auckland, where he wrote his PhD thesis on new methods of using epidemiological data to estimate the size of disease populations. After being awarded his PhD, John worked at the University of Auckland’s Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences in the Department of Māori and Pacific Health, as a Research Fellow with the Pacific Health Research Centre, before accepting a Postdoctoral Fellowship at Massey University with the Social and Health Outcomes Research and Evaluation (SHORE) and Te Rōpū Whāriki (Whāriki) Research Centre. More recently, John was employed as an Epidemiologist for Auckland and Waitemata District Health Boards (DHBs) Planning and Funding Team, where he carried out a Health Needs Assessment of the Pacific population. He was involved in writing several Pacific Health Action Plans, and numerous other regular demographic, health status and inequality reports with a focus on the Māori and Pacific populations within the DHBs.