19 Jun 2012

Grants worth more than $1 million goes to Maori research

8:00 am on 19 June 2012

More than $1 million worth of funding has been granted to two Waikato University research projects seeking to improve Maori well-being.

Auckland-based centre of research excellence Nga Pae O te Maramatanga has announced the grants.

One of the studies will look at how traditional forms of child rearing could be applied in a contemporary environment.

The principal investigator for that research, Leonie Pihama, says the two-year study will aim to help whanau, hapu, iwi, Maori providers and agencies that work with whanau across a range of sectors.

She says there has been a disruption in passing down knowledge and culture for many whanau, which needs to be fixed.

Meanwhile, Mohi Rua from the university's psychology department will be studying the everyday lives and positive relationships of Maori men in the context of men's health.

Mr Rua says the majority of research on Maori men is illness focused, reflecting the abundance of negative statistics but giving very few answers.

However, he says in contrast his two-year project is not about illness but is about wellness and the relationships necessary for sustaining it.

His research will study three diverse groups of Maori men; those engaged in traditional practices at home, men who have migrated to an urban centre and homeless men.