Sarah Herbert

Doctor of Philosophy, (Psychology)
Study Completed: 2017
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
He tirohanga taurahere tangata: The social context of older Māori alcohol use in Aotearoa/New Zealand

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Alcohol use among older Māori is an area requiring immediate attention due to the increasing older Māori population, the numerous health impacts of alcohol use and the scarcity of knowledge about older people’s alcohol use, particularly among older Māori. Ms Herbert adopted a Māori centred research approach to investigate the social context of older Māori alcohol use via three related studies. The results highlighted three central features that contextualised Māori alcohol use. These were whānau; whanaungatanga; and diversity. Ms Herbert’s research suggests important shifts in theoretical approaches to understanding Māori alcohol use that will guide future research and provides suggestions for the development of culturally responsive alcohol policy and health promotion practice to better meet the health and wellbeing needs of Māori in Aotearoa. 

Professor Christine Stephens
Associate Professor Margaret Forster
Professor Timothy McCreanor


Herbert, S.A, Forster, M., McCreanor, T., & Stephens, C. The social context of alcohol use among older Māori in New Zealand. (Submitted for publication)

Herbert, S.A & Stephens., C. (2015). Alcohol use and older Māori in Aotearoa. Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse 14 (3), 251-269. DOI: 10.1080/15332640.2014.993786

 Herbert, S. (2012). Alcohol use and older Māori people: Reason for further investigation? Refereed Proceedings of Doing Psychology: Manawatu Doctoral Research Symposium 2012, Retrieved from

Herbert, S. (2011). Nga kiritea Māori: Walking between two worlds. Master’s thesis. Massey University: Palmerston North, New Zealand