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
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
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
“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.