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Massey Magazine Issue 13 November 2002

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Pictured above are: Dr Steve Stannard (Hon Research Fellow); Dr Maureen Holdaway (Deputy Director);  Prof Mason Durie (DVC, Mãori); Prof Chris Cunningham (Director, RCMHD); Mr Isaac Warbrick (TPH Doctoral Scholar); Dr Janice Wenn (TPH Post Doctoral Fellow);  Mr Eljon Fitzgerald (Research Officer); Dr Amohia Boulton (HRC Post-Doctoral Fellow); Mr Bevan Clayton-Smith (TPH Doctoral Scholar); Ms Hope Tupara (TPH Doctoral Scholar); Mr Brendon Stevenson (Research Officer); Ms Victoria Simon (TPH Doctoral Scholar); Mr Will Edwards (TPH Doctoral Scholar); Ms Kelly Rongonui (Administrator);  Mr John Waldon (TPH Doctoral Scholar)
Pictured above are: Dr Steve Stannard (Hon Research Fellow); Dr Maureen Holdaway (Deputy Director); Prof Mason Durie (DVC, Mãori); Prof Chris Cunningham (Director, RCMHD); Mr Isaac Warbrick (TPH Doctoral Scholar); Dr Janice Wenn (TPH Post Doctoral Fellow); Mr Eljon Fitzgerald (Research Officer); Dr Amohia Boulton (HRC Post-Doctoral Fellow); Mr Bevan Clayton-Smith (TPH Doctoral Scholar); Ms Hope Tupara (TPH Doctoral Scholar); Mr Brendon Stevenson (Research Officer); Ms Victoria Simon (TPH Doctoral Scholar); Mr Will Edwards (TPH Doctoral Scholar); Ms Kelly Rongonui (Administrator); Mr John Waldon (TPH Doctoral Scholar)

2007 Outstanding Research Team

Oustanding Research Team: Te Pümanawa Hauora, Research Centre for Mäori Health and Development

The mission of the Research Centre for Mäori Health and Development is to improve Mäori health through research and scholarship, and the centre has an outstanding record of both research and team development.

Formally established as a research centre in 2003, its origins are in the health programme established a decade earlier by Professor Mason Durie at the School of Mäori Studies. Two seminal research programmes were established: Te Pümanawa Hauora (Mäori health research unit) and Te Hoe Nuku Roa, a longitudinal survey of Mäori households.

The programmes grew and, in 1996, Dr Chris Cunningham was appointed as director of health research and the consolidation of both programmes. In 2000 the University’s Wellington campus was opened and Te Pumanawa Hauora established a second office within the Research School of Public Health.

In 2003 establishment as an independent research centre saw Dr Cunningham promoted to Professor. The centre is co-located with the Research Centre for Public Health and enjoys strong links with Professor Neil Pearce and his team.

Since its inception as a research programme, the centre has secured more than $25 million in external funding, and now holds both Health Research Council and Foundation for Research, Science and Technology programmes. Projects range from mental health to diabetes and insulin resistance, to the health of older Mäori and the health of children. Significant aspects of health policy are also addressed.

Professor Cunningham says the medal is acknowledgement of the very sound base put in place by Professor Durie.

“And it’s really about the ongoing commitment to workforce development – that’s probably our biggest contribution, followed by the programmes of research themselves.

“While everything in the area of Mäori health is a priority, the plans we have around exercise science and diabetes are exciting. This really draws upon the University’s talent in the exercise sciences and the talents within the Research School of Public Health.”

College of Humanities and Social Sciences Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Barrie Macdonald says that as well as making its own contribution in research, the centre has provided an exemplar as to how research capacity can be built and critical mass achieved.

Since its inception, the centre has produced 10 Mäori PhD graduates, six post-doctoral fellows and currently has 18 doctoral students.

“The nurturing of postgraduate and early career researchers has been a distinct feature,” Professor Macdonald says.

“In a field where researchers are hard to find, and the research questions are pressing, the centre has made a major contribution to addressing these key questions, influencing policy and building the research capability that would allow research in this area to grow.

“This is a contribution that has gone well beyond the University and is of national importance.”

The work of the centre is acknowledged both nationally and internationally. Professor Durie was named a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2001 and elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand.

Professor Cunningham is also an Honorary Professor at the Wellington School of Medicine and a Visiting Research Fellow and Associate at the University of Sydney.

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