“I think all New Zealanders pride ourselves on being clean and green, but we are increasingly asking what we need to do to protect that…” When winning support from local authorities, these days it’s the numbers that talk. And as a scientist with Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research based at Lincoln near Christchurch, Dr James Ataria has been using them eloquently for some time in collaborative research projects helping local communities protect culturally significant environments.
“To generate good health policy you need to ensure that the younger population doesn’t miss out.” THE FIRST STEP in fixing any health challenge is to understand what you most need to focus on, says Bridget Robson. For an epidemiologist this view may not seem surprising. But as Director of Te Rōpū Rangahau Hauora a Eru Pōmare (Eru Pōmare Māori Health Research Centre) at the Wellington School of Medicine & Health Sciences, the University of Otago, she has shown that the picture of New Zealand patient health can change quite markedly depending on the statistics you use.
Metabolic health issues such as Type 2 diabetes and obesity are increasingly prevalent in our community, in keeping with worldwide trends. There is now a considerable amount of evidence that events during pregnancy and early childhood influence the risk of metabolic disease in later life by affecting glucose and fat metabolism and possibly appetite regulation. To try to prevent later metabolic disease, we therefore need to look at practical ways to intervene in early life to decrease these risks.
This research project explores the relationship between cultural connectedness and wellbeing (as a social determinant of health). The research will provide evidence relating to wellbeing and cultural connection within and between whānau with the intent to develop an aspirational model for Waikato-Tainui. The intern Ayla Jenkins will provide support to the researchers during marae and whānau engagement in the field. The supervisor is Jonathan Kilgour.
This research project aims to determine how whānau might flourish. The researchers, led by Professor Mason Durie, focuses on six themes – the characteristics of flourishing whānau; profiling the contemporary lives of Māori whānau; exploring the cultural realities of modern whānau; identifying the necessary resources (cultural, social, economic) for whānau to flourish ; assessing the challenges facing whānau in 2025, and developing strategies that will enable whānau to flourish.