An Auckland Maori trust says a new research hub will help the North Island's Whanau Ora Commissioning Agency identify which areas need the most attention.
Te Whanau O Waipareira trust's Wai-Research unit aims to find out from the community how to address social problems such as domestic violence and poverty.
The Waipareira Trust first made a bid to establish a community based research centre 18 years ago, but the work was assigned to universities instead.
The trust's chief executive, John Tamihere, said the unit's first two reports will help health providers ensure that the best people are working in the social justice and education sectors and survey the North Island to identify areas that have high needs.
The reports will be released early next year.