What are the knowledge gaps pertaining to the impact of incarceration on whānau health and wellbeing, what is the nature and scope of current initiatives for whānau who have a family member incarcerated, and what are the barriers and challenges for whānau utilising current initiatives for these whānau members?

The over-representation of Māori in New Zealand prisons means that the impacts of imprisonment fall disproportionately on Māori whānau and communities. Having an incarcerated whānau member impacts on a variety of emotional, behavioural and health-related aspects. Many governmental and community agencies are required to work with, and for, whānau who have a whānau member incarcerated, however there is very little evidence of quality intervention from the relevant state agencies to provide support for the emotional and physical wellbeing of whānau.

This project is identifying the impact incarceration has on whānau health and wellbeing, and is using the findings to scope a larger related project in the future. Utilising Kaupapa Māori theory, the researchers are conducting an extensive environmental scan of the published and grey literature relating to Māori whānau health and well¬being when a whānau member is incarcerated, whilst also assessing the current services and initiatives in place to support whānau in Aotearoa, including identifying what government, non-government organisations and community support are currently available for these whānau, including their pathways for access.

Project commenced:

Research Lead(s) and Team

Ngāi Tahu
Deputy Director

Emma was a Deputy Director at Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga 2016 to 2018 and now leads a research project.  She is also the Director of Te Rōpū Rangahau Hauora Māori o Ngāi Tahu (Ngāi Tahu Māori Health Research Unit) and a Lecturer in Māori Health, both in the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine at the University of Otago.