What is the current state of knowledge on wairua, pregnancy and birthing, what are the key initia-tives and opportunities for collaborative research pro-jects, and who are the key stakeholders in this area?

Pregnancy and birth are key times in the lives of mothers, babies and their whānau. Some whānau have the re-sources and life contexts that enable them to understand and experience pregnancy and birth using Māori concepts, frameworks and practices while many other Māori experience pregnancy and birth within a largely Western or mainstream biomedical system of processes and practices without recourse to Māori knowl-edge or support.

Concepts of wairua are ubiquitous to many Māori, including and espe-cially in the areas of pregnancy and birth, and wairua is experienced and enacted in all situations explic-itly and implicitly, with profound impacts on how whānau navigate services and experience this critical life stage. Through ongoing engage-ment with key stakeholders, profes-sionals and experts, this project is exploring the potential of col-laborative initiatives and a “wairua-centric” approach to health services that can contribute to gains for Māori mothers, babies and whānau.

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Project completed