Te Whānau O Waipareira
Maori Dictionary
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Direct innovation, leadership, knowledge and development – kaupapa Maori research empowering Whanau to prosper.

Te Whānau o Waipareira Research Unit

Wai-Research undertakes a research programme that supports Te Whānau o Waipareira Trust 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.

The Waipareira Research Unit sits within Waipareira Tuararo – the back bone for Te Whānau o Waipareira. Waipareira Tuararo provides a range of management and specialist services both to Waipareira and other external clients.

The research unit is guided by “Nga Taumata Rangahau o Waipareira” research principals, which have been specifically created to reflect the aspirations of our community. Formalised partnerships with other research and indigenous organisations include MoUs with Whakauae Research for Māori Health and Development, Massey University and Regroupment des Centres d’amitié autochtones du Québec (RCAAQ).

Mā te rongo, ka mōhio; Mā te mōhio, ka mārama; mā te mārama, ka mātau; Mā te mātau, ka ora!

Through resonance comes insight; through insight comes understanding; through understanding comes knowledge; through knowledge comes life and well-being!

“We have struggled to get research that evaluates, measures and informs, in a timely way, where we are heading to either mandate or inform why we should change conduct – This type of intelligence cannot be captured by the providers or bureaucrats, and unfortunately the Universities did not succeed in building a bridge out to the community. The establishment of the Wai Research Centre, although almost 20 years after the founding of Te Whānau o Waipareira, shows that if you persevere, things will work out for your community

Hon. John Tamihere
CEO Te Whanau O Waipareira


‘Queen Elizabeth Scholar’ from the University of Winnipeg completes research placement with Wai Research

Over the course of the last three months, I completed a placement with Wai Research at Te Whānau O Waipareira as a requirement of my Master’s in Indigenous Development at the University of Winnipeg, Canada.

One of the main activities I’ve been involved with was writing a literature review on kaumatua ageing. Literature on the health and wellbeing of older Māori, and where available, ageing urban Māori, was reviewed, synthesized and organized into themes to determine what is currently known about kaumatua ageing and what gaps and opportunities for further research exist in the current literature. Other research activities I have been involved with include assisting with interviews, analysis of interview transcripts, and proofreading various reports.

My placement with Wai Research has been a valuable learning experience. In addition to the practical experience I gained in qualitative research skills and Indigenous methodologies, I was able to develop a greater understanding of the parallels that exist in regards to the health and wellbeing of Māori and Indigenous populations in Canada.
Sarah Wood

Māori Child
wellbeing Report

Māori Child Wellbeing Infographic

Māori Mental

Catalysts of Hauora

On the 16th of November 2016, Donna Te Whiu and Haze White of the Waipareira Research Unit presented their findings on the Health Research Council funded ‘Catalysts of Hauora’ project at the Nga Pae o te Maramatanga International Indigenous Research Conference in Auckland.

‘Catalysts of Hauora’ captures the histories of our Waipareira whānau to identify the catalysts that contributed to intergenerational gains in health and wellbeing.

This research was conducted with support from Whakauae Research, an iwi-based research centre, in the effort to maximise the scope of the research findings.

The conference had nearly 200 presenters and a number of distinguished keynote speakers who showcased the immense pool of indigenous knowledge here in New Zealand and internationally.

What stood out was that Waipareira Research can keep pace with other indigenous institutions, and won’t be long until we are leading the pack.”

Useful links


The Wai Research Interview series

Our community is one that has historically been researched on as opposed to researched for, and as such, there is a disconnect between our community and research. The purpose of these interviews is to find ways to bridge the gap between the community and research, to build the profile of research within the community and to build the profile of community research within wider academia.

As part of the Wai Research Interview series we are interviewing a number of prominent Māori researchers on topics that are relevant to their area of expertise, and relevant to kaupapa Māori research.

The first interview is with our Wai Research Pou, Sir Mason Durie, and provided an opportunity for us to ask him all about what constitutes “good research” – both from a community point of view, as well as from a Whānau Ora point of view.

Our Team

Emeritus Professor Sir Mason Durie
Ngāti Kauwhata, Ngāti Raukawa and Rangitane

Pou, Wai-Research

Professor Sir Mason Durie is one of New Zealand’s most highly respected academics. His research on whānau development provided an important platform for Whānau Ora. He worked closely with Dame Tariana Turia to develop the Whānau Ora approach and was the founding Chair of the original Whānau Ora Taskforce in 2008. He also was a member of the group that was set up to oversee the initial implementation of Whānau Ora.

Sir Mason grew up in Feilding, attended Te Aute College, Hawke’s Bay, and graduated from the University of Otago with a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery in 1963. He has a postgraduate Diploma in Psychiatry from McGill University, Canada, and was Director of Psychiatry at Palmerston North Hospital then a member of the Royal Commission on Social Policy from 1986-88.

In 1988 he was appointed to the Chair in Māori Studies at Massey, where he graduated as a Doctor of Literature in 2003. He has been a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand since 1995 and a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit since 2001. In 2008, Otago University awarded him an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree. Prior to retirement in 2012 he was Professor of Māori Research and Development and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Massey University. He was appointed Professor Emeritus in 2013.

His extensive publications continue to be widely quoted within New Zealand and internationally, especially in connection with indigenous health advancement. In 2010 he was knighted for services to public health and especially Māori health.

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 particular 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 the Wai-Research Unit since its inception in 2014, and Te Whānau o Waipareira are now honoured to be able to officially acknowledge Sir Mason as the Pou of the Wai-Research Unit.

Dr Tanya Allport
Te Ati Awa, German
PhD, MA(Hons) and BA(Hons)

Director of Research

As Director of the Wai-Research unit, Tanya guides the strategic direction of the Wai-Research Unit, evaluation of funding, project development and overseeing the impact of research on the Waipareira community. Tanya’s role coordinates the implementation of high quality, responsive and timely research activities that support the vision of Te Whānau o Waipareira to create spaces where whānau hopes and opportunities can flourish.

As a Phd graduate from the University of Auckland, Tanya’s interest in Māori health has spanned from her doctoral thesis – which looked at representations of psychological trauma in Māori women – to her work for the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences; where she coordinated and tutored on the Hikitia Te Ora foundation programme for Māori and Pacific students seeking entry into the health sciences at the University of Auckland.

More recently Tanya worked as a senior researcher for claims to the Treaty of Waitangi Tribunal, submitting research reports to the Tribunal on claimant issues ranging from land block inquiries, traditional history and environmental impacts of Treaty breaches. With a background in various social research initiatives, Tanya’s primary interest is in contributing to research which is translational by nature – meaning research that is able to impact the Māori community in real, tangible positive ways, rather than research for the sake of research.

Dr Te Kani Kingi
Ngati Awa and Ngati Pukeko
PhD, MSocSci(Hons), BSocSci,
GradDipMDev, DipTM

Associate Director

As Associate Director Te Kani has been working on supporting the Wai-Research unit with strategy and project advice. Te Kani has also been essential in fostering partnerships with Massey University and other external research relationships.

Te Kani was an Associate Professor and Director Māori at Massey University in Wellington and has a specialist interest in mental health research, psychometrics, and Māori health. He has formally been an executive member of the New Zealand Public Health Association, The Mental Health Advocacy Coalition, the National Ethics Advisory Committee, the National Health Committee, the Public Health Advisory Committee, and past Chair of the New Zealand Mental Health Commission. He is currently a member of Statistics New Zealand’s Māori Advisory board, the Health Research Council and AKO Aotearoa Assessment Committees, the New Zealand Pharmacy Council, Nga Pae o te Maramatanga’s International Research Advisory Panel, and Chair of the Te Rau Puawai mental health scholarship scheme. He is also a member of the Families Commission Whānau Reference Group.

Te Kani was born and raised in Poroporo and was educated at St Stephen’s School in Bombay. He attended both Waikato and Massey University.

Dr John Tupou Huakau
Tongan and English
PhD, MSc(Dist), PGDPH, and BSc(Honours)

Senior Epidemiologist

John is Wai Research’s Outcomes Measurement and Needs Assessment lead specialising in epidemiology and biostatistics. With Wai-Research he has published a number of reports looking at Māori descent population profiles and area snapshots of the South and West Auckland regions.

He is a graduate from the University of Auckland, where he wrote his PhD thesis on new methods for 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 Post-doctoral 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 Board (DHB), Planning and Funding Team, where he carried out a Health Needs Assessment of the Pacific population, was involved in writing several Pacific Health Action Plans, and numerous other regular demographic, health status and inequality reports with a focus on Māori and Pacific populations. Since leaving the DHB John has been a contract researcher working for the Wai-Research unit.

Georgina Martin
Te Rarawa, Te Aupōuri, Ngāpuhi
Master Public Health, Registered General & Obstetric Nurse

Senior Researcher

Georgina has a wide and varied background in health and Māori community development, where her early experience as a registered nurse in public health in West Auckland shaped her interests in improving health care outcomes, and the ways that health providers work with whānau - a journey she recognises is on-going and full of challenges.

Since then, Georgina’s focus on improving services for whānau included being the National Māori Co-ordinator as part of the National Screening Unit team which established the National Breast Screening Programme, working in Te Tai Tokerau in primary health at Hokianga Health, participating in Whānau Ora research and representing Te Rūnanga O Te Rarawa on the Te Tai Tokerau PHO Board, where she became Chair. Over the last year her work has been about health literacy, with projects in West and South Auckland.

At Wai-Research Georgina leads the research coordination for the Whānau House Collective Impact initiative and oversees external relationships and projects with other national research projects.

Hector Kaiwai
Ngati Porou, Ngati Maniapoto, Tuhoe
MA (Hons I), BA/BMus

Associate Researcher/Evaluator

Hector has worked for the last 12 years as a social and health researcher/evaluator and has an academic background in Māori Studies and Music. His research and evaluation portfolio is diverse and extensive having led, managed and designed, projects in areas such as hip hop dance and music, boxing, physical activity and nutrition, social marketing, sexual health, literacy, tobacco control, criminal justice, the media, alcohol, gambling, mentoring, interpersonal violence and fire safety. At Wai-Research Hector contributes to a variety of research projects, with a particular focus on evaluation projects. 

Haze White
Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health – Specialising in Māori Health,
Bachelor of Health Sciences, Certificate in Health Sciences


With a strong passion for improving Māori hauora, Haze’s journey took him to the University of Auckland where his study focused on Māori health and Kaupapa Māori research. After graduating he became involved in a rheumatic fever study as the primary Māori interviewer, where he partook in insightful dialogue with whānau, uncovering variables that had previously been thought to have been insignificant. Haze’s passion for Māori research is therefore centred around the type of research which has the ability to directly inform the services and practices of Whānau Ora.

As an emerging researcher at the Wai-Research unit, Haze has been responsible for assisting across the board on all research and evaluation activities for the Wai-Research unit, with a particular focus on the “Catalysts of Health and Wellbeing” retrospective study of West Auckland Whānau.


Sneha Lakhotia
BDS (Gold Medal) , MPH , Specialisation Social Epidemiology (Gold Medal)

Quantitative Researcher

As a Quantitative Researcher, Sneha is responsible for supporting whanau through research and measurement of targeted outcomes at the Wai-Research, Evaluation and Measurement Work stream.

Her experience in the heath sector as a dental practitioner and passion to improve health for the greater population persuaded her to pursue her Masters in Public Health, specialising in Social Epidemiology. Her thesis was based on the role of social capital and social disparities in health services utilisation, for which she was awarded the Best Research Project and Gold Medal. In her previous role as an Analyst at the Indian School of Business, she worked with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in understanding the distribution models for diarrheal treatment and help build a hybrid model to improve the efficiency. Her stint included working with the State Ministry of Health to identify and build their capacity for public private partnerships in Healthcare. Her interests lie in health inequities, health systems, evidence based research and health innovation.

Mark Strang
Ngāi Tāhuhu, Ngāti Manaia

Associate Researcher

Mark has an acumen in Māori mental health interventions and therapeutic service implementation in the Violent Offender sector. His career passion is for Kaupapa Māori Clinical Practice to be understood beyond a cultural observation and embraced as a mainstream therapeutic provision within Aotearoa. As the Clinical Operation Manager of Man Alive, Waitakere, he currently leads New Zealand’s largest Living Without Violence counselling provider.

Intertwining his work focus, Mark is continuing his academic journey at Auckland University of Technology. He is orchestrating his postgraduate studies in psychology, to pursue an academic endeavour in to the marriage of Mātauranga Māori and western therapeutic theory. The Master of Health Science in Psychology pathway at AUT offers incremental bodies of research that will enable the articulation of a larger PHD work, that he hopes will inform academia and industry as to the effective application of this therapeutic synthesis.

Mark is supporting Wai-Research with projects in Māori Mental Health.


Na tou rourou, na toku rourou, ka ora ai te iwi

With your basket and my basket the people will prosper!

We aspire to develop a community research agenda through meaningful partnerships with external research groups engaging in projects that recognize, value and use principles of Kaupapa Māori. With a focus on collaboration and knowledge sharing we can apply this knowledge in ways that further benefit our people at a whānau level, a community level, nationally and internationally.

Massey University
Massey University is working with health service providers to meet the needs of our communities ensuring that we are contributing to positive development of whānau and Māori

Nga Whakauae Research
To assist Māori to reach their potential by sustainably delivering Māori research founded on academic and research excellence, and mātauranga Māori, in a way that brings together Ngāti Hauiti interests, with the interests of Māori in general

Waitemata DHB delivers the best care for every single patient/client using our services whether we work directly with patients/clients or support the work of the organisation in other ways. 

Regroupement des Centres d’amitié autochtones du Québec (RCAAQ) (Canadian Research)
The Regroupement des centres d’amitié autochtones du Québec was founded for and by urban Aboriginals who wanted to give themselves a provincial concertation, coordination and representation structure. Since 1976, the RCAAQ represents the interests of the Native Friendship Centres of Québec


Huakau, J. (2014). Māori descent Population Profile: Te Ika-a-Maui. Te Pou Matakana, September, 2014

Huakau, J. (2014). Locality Population Snapshot: South Auckland. Te Pou Matakana, July, 2014.

Huakau, J. (2014). Locality Population Snapshot: West Auckland. Te Pou Matakana, July, 2014.

Allport, T. (2014). He Ara Hou — Frameworks and practices of Māori Commissioning. Te Pou Matakana, September, 2014.

The above publications can be viewed at: www.tepoumatakana.com

Whānau Centre Health Needs Assesssment

Māori Child Wellbeing Report

Māori Child Wellbeing Infographic

Māori Mental health


Catalysts of Health

We are currently developing the Waipareira independent research project “Catalysts of Health” – a retrospective inquiry into five generations of urban Māori coming through Te Whānau o Waipareira services.

Nga Tini Whetu

He tini whetū ki te rangi, he moemoēa, he tūmanako ki te tangata”

Nga Tini Whetu is an emerging Te Whānau o Waipareira initiative that seeks to address long-term outcomes for whānau who no longer require short to medium term support.

Encompassing the core aspects of Waipareira’s 25year strategic plan, the initiative centres on whānau determination and achievement.

The research component of the strategy will draw insights, perspectives and data that enables the development of an applied strategy that promotes fulfilment of whanau aspirations.