13 Oct 2015

Waipareira Trust wins major research grant

2:30 pm on 13 October 2015

An urban Māori authority has won a major research grant that will allow it to talk directly with whānau to find out what has helped them improve their health.

Tanya Allport

Wai-Research director Tanya Allport Photo: Te Whānau O Waipareira

Te Whānau O Waipareira Trust said it wanted to look backwards and talk to kuia and kaumatua and find out what has worked for them and use that information to improve its health services to the community.

The funding from the Health Research Council provides the trust's research arm, Wai-Research, with $200,000.

Wai-Research director Tanya Allport said the funding for the 18-month "Catalysts of Health" project would allow researchers to discover the deciding factors for whānau who have moved to the city that have motivated them to stay and flourish.

"We're really very excited because this is the first time in Waipareira's history, and they have tried for a long time to get this kind of funding to underpin the services to say, well, we have evidence therefore we're doing these services."

Dr Allport said one of the advantages was that the community, rather than academics, were leading the research. She said the research would not just be sitting on a shelf.

"We're in a really fortunate position where we can say 'this has worked, let's do more of this' rather than we're an outside organisation where we don't have the ability to act on the research. So we've got the theory and we also have the ability to do the practise.

"It's different because it's not an academic organisation coming into a Māori community organisation doing research on them, it's very much based on what the community wants and needs."

Ms Allport said the results of the project would also contribute to the wider stories of west Auckland and the uncaptured experiences of urban Māori.