Māori Pūrākau Research Methods to Inform Hauora Strategy for Iwi

Kaikaiawaro Charitable Trust, the charitable arm of Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Kuia, have been announced as one of the successful applicants of the Health Research Council’s (HRC) Ngā Kanohi Kitea Development Grant.  Ngā Kanohi Kitea community grants provide an opportunity for iwi, hapū and community groups to investigate a well-defined area of Māori health need or gain.

He Maunga Pakohe Rautaki Hauora is the name given to the project. It involves a pūrākau and wānanga based approach which will ensure that whānau experiences and opportunities drive Ngati Kuia in the implementation of their hauora strategy into the future.

The focus of the grant will be to enable Ngāti Kuia to develop a significant piece of research work that is guided by iwi aspirations and supported by leading researchers.

David Johnston, Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Kuia General Manager says “Our hauora whānau advisory group recognises that authentic engagement needs to inform our hauora strategy because this has the potential to contribute greatly to enhancing well-being for whānau. Whānau will have an opportunity to work and tell their stories alongside Te Kotahi Research Institute at Waikato University.  

“An example of this approach has seen the resurgence of rongoā strategies to connect whānau back to their whenua and traditional healing practises,” Johnston says. 

Project Manager Vicky Thorn says, “Pūrākau research methodology will  help us better understand what it is that whānau face every day, what are the real health and social challenges for them.  Learning from historical and contemporary Ngāti Kuia history will help guide our future and support other agencies and providers to do things differently for our whānau”.


Through their Whānau Ora Commissioning funding, Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu has enabled Ngāti Kuia the ability and courage to develop their pūrākau research framework which has informed their approach and subsequent HRC funding application.   

Developing whānau capability and knowledge is the prime focus of Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu who work on behalf of the nine iwi of Te Waipounamu / the South Island.

“We know that whānau have the answers to improve their own health and wellbeing. Whānau Ora commissioning enables iwi, hapū and other community groups to access other funds that are available to them by investing in ideas and innovative solutions,” say Pouārahi / Chief Executive Helen Leahy.  

“In this case the vision has been to ensure that there is meaningful whānau engagement so that the lived realities of whānau are used to develop and deliver health care projects on the ground,” ends Ms Leahy.

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