This project examined Māori resilience, with particular reference to Māori systems of assessment and management of issues pertaining to mental health and wellbeing. In New Zealand, the researchers proposed, we have two different epistemologies and two different systems of knowledge, which rarely intersect and this is the case in the field of mental health, where western epistemologies dominate, while Māori epistemologies are largely under utilised.
This research project adopted an approach which is grounded in Māori cultural values and beliefs to answer three questions: what are the dreams, aspirations and goals that whānau in the Porirua community have for their own development; what are the major areas of concern for these whānau which may in fact prevent them from achieving their dreams; and finally how do government agencies and institutions support whānau to achieve their aspirations? The research also looked at whether government departments enable whānau to realise their dreams in a way that is consistent with being Māori.
This study on the nature of privilege sheds light on how those with the least advantage are positioned to seem as though they are receiving ‘special benefits’, while unearned advantages that accrue to the privileged remain invisible and unscrutinised, particularly by those that benefit the most from them. Participants’ constructions of privilege emphasise the multi-faceted complexity and discursive ambiguities of the ways in which the concept is utilised within our political economy to account for disparity and covertly reproduce the status quo of Pakeha advantage.
People living in isolated communities often live in homes that lack essential amenities such as clean reliable water, energy or power sources, vehicle access, telecommunications and waste management systems. Under these circumstances the health and safety of whānau, in particular the most vulnerable (kaumātua and pēpi) can be compromised and placed at risk.
This research involved interviewing whānau who reside in isolated communities and determining the essential needs of whānau (from their perspective) and the factors taken into consideration by whānau to prioritise these needs.
The Hauraki Māori Trust Board and the Cawthron Institute collaborated in this research project which stemmed from a spate of dog deaths on the beaches of Tikapa Moana (the Hauraki Gulf) in August 2009. The dogs died from the poison tetrodotoxin (TTX) and this poison was present in sea slugs that had washed up on beaches. It became apparent research was needed to determine the poisoning risk associated with kaimoana from Tikapa Moana.