Child health research findings
of a major health research project focusing on the health and
well-being of children in a rural Northland community were launched
on 30 September at Kaeo.
Te Hauora O Nga Tamariki O Whaingaroa research project was located
within the iwi of Ngapuhi and Ngati Kahu.
It is a collaboration between Te Runanga O Whaingaroa and the University,
with support from the Whangaroa Health Services Trust.
Children’s Commissioner Dr Cindy Kiro was the principal researcher
on the project when she was with the Centre for Public Health Research. “There
is a real potential for health gains to be made through an emphasis
on health services addressing risk factors for conditions with
modifiable causes for tamariki and youth,” she says.
Respiratory infections were identified as a major cause of illness
and hospitalisation among tamariki in Whangaroa. Almost half (45
percent) of the Mäori population in Whangaroa are between
0-17 years of age.
Dr Kiro says the research provides a baseline enabling local health
providers to plan services for young people and whanau more effectively. “Training
in research skills will strengthen the community and enable it
to carry out its own research,” she says.
“The Runanga will use the results to influence the purchase
and provision of health services and district council programmes
at assisting whanau.”
The research was carried out from 2001 to 2004.
Benefits identified from this research project included:
• The development of a meaningful understanding of hauora and health status
measures that are relevant for the Whangaroa community.
• The importance of cultural determinants of hauora.
• The development of comprehensive baseline data on the health status of
tamariki within the Whangaroa County which can be used to monitor health status
The project was funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand.
8 October, 2004