April 2015


1. Message from the HRC Māori Health Research Team
2. Tribute to Lex Davidson (1947-2014)
3. New HRC Chief Executive and Finance Manager
4. Staff changes - HRC Māori Secretariat
5. Māori Health Committee changes
6. Farewell to two HRC Board members
7. Have your say on the strategic refresh of the HRC
8. Register for the next Māori Health Research Writing Workshop
9. 2016 Ngā Kanohi Kitea Investigator Briefing Meeting
10. 2016 Māori Health Research Career Development Awards
11. Preventing and Minimising Gambling Harm Career Development Awards
12. PhD opportunity: Respiratory research for Māori
13. HRC Gateway and application form changes
14. Hui Whakapiripiri report now online
15. Research profile: Dr Meihana Durie
16. Research profile: Dr Karen Brewer
17. Research profile: Dr Reremoana Theodore
18. Application dates
19. Conferences and events

Welcome to the first issue of Pānui for 2015. As we look at the current research landscape, it's timely to reflect on the challenges, the changes and the gains over the past few years. The challenges for Māori health and Māori health research are not new, but with it brings new ways of thinking, doing and being. Here we take stock of some of those gains.

Investment streams

The change from nine portfolios to four investment streams within the HRC was a significant shift. The Rangahau Hauora Māori Investment Stream was developed through considerable consultation and feedback. This mechanism has enabled tailored investment in innovative quality research led by high calibre Māori researchers. Applications vary each year and there has been an increase in collaborations between academic institutions, community organisations and iwi.

Career Development Awards

The Māori Health Career Development Awards had an increase in funding for the 2014/2015 funding round in recognition of the rise in both the number and quality of applications. Numbers reflected in earlier rounds included going from four PhD applications to 16 and from two postdoctoral applications to 22 in one round.

Ngā Kanohi Kitea

The Ngā Kanohi Kitea fund is a unique vehicle where whānau, hapū, iwi and community research aspirations can be applied. The two-step process enables those who are new to research to be mentored and supported through the application and research process, from start to finish. This fund has contributed towards a number of important research initiatives as well as growing Māori health research capacity and capability at a number of levels.

Roadshows and writing workshops

The Māori Health Research roadshows and writing workshops have been successful in bringing the Māori research community and the HRC a step closer, breaking down some of the barriers that may be limiting Māori in applying for funding. The roadshows and writing workshops are delivered throughout the country each year (details about the upcoming writing workshop in Palmerston North are in this issue of Pānui). The workshops are popular and make the application process understandable by sharing information in ways and environments that meet the needs of our people. We have seen an increase in numbers and applications since their inception.  

Independent Māori Research Institutes

Te Atawhai o te Ao (TAOTO) made history by being the only independent organisation (sitting outside of a university) to hold HRC programme funding. They are also our only current Māori programme holder. TAOTO is involved in research activity at local, national and international levels.

Whakauae Research Services is another independent iwi-led institute that has been successful at receiving funding through a number of different mechanisms and are the recent recipients of Capability in Independent Research Organisations Funding.

Committee membership

Building Māori membership on relevant committees across the HRC is not without its own set of challenges. We are most appreciative of our two Māori Council members, Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith (whose term is coming to an end) and Dr Matire Harwood who also contribute greatly to the wealth of knowledge, expertise and leadership within the Māori Health Statutory Committee. We acknowledge the time, effort, skills, work and energy that our Māori Health Science Assessing Committee members and reviewers put in to make these processes and meetings a success.

External changes
There are many external changes that continue to impact on the HRC. The National Science Challenges, the changes to and implications of the CORE funding bid, the change in minister and within ministries to name a few. Through all of this, the HRC has still managed to continue processing, assessing and funding high quality research. 

Ngā mihi 
HRC Māori Health Research Team

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News and Events

Tribute to Lex Davidson (1947–2014)

Lex DavidsonThe HRC’s Chief Financial Officer, Lex Davidson, sadly passed away in December 2014. Lex started with the HRC as Chief Financial Officer on 14 January 1991, and had worked for the HRC for nearly 24 years. During his time at the HRC, Lex was responsible for all of the HRC’s financial and accounting obligations, and managing the HRC Secretariat and its resources. He was heavily involved in the HRC’s annual contestable funding round to ensure the availability of financial resources, and to manage the financial implications of funding decisions.

Lex is sorely missed by his colleagues at the HRC, and the many health researchers and research office staff he has worked with. HRC Māori Health Research Group Manager, Rachel Brown, says Lex made an enormous contribution to Māori health research during his nearly 24 years at the HRC and was a huge support to the HRC’s Māori Health Committee. "Lex was a great advocate for Māori health research and this was reflected in his support, his manner, his role and the great relationships he had with Māori stakeholders, researchers and students all over the country. Moe mai ra."

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New HRC Chief Executive and Finance ManagerDr Kathryn McPherson
In late January Dr Kathryn (Kath) McPherson started in her role as the HRC’s new Chief Executive. Kath is an experienced public health researcher and has worked in the research field for over 16 years to improve the health of people with disabling conditions. She holds a PhD from the University of Edinburgh and is author or co-author of more than 150 peer-reviewed journal articles. Kath has clinical experience in nursing midwifery and community health, and an academic background in psychology and rehabilitation. In addition to having held appointments at AUT University, University of Otago, the University of Auckland, and Victoria University, Kath is Visiting Professor at a number of international universities.

In March the HRC was also pleased to welcome Grant Barnett, who is the HRC’s new Finance Manager. Grant comes to the HRC from the Auckland District Health Board and is taking on many of the responsibilities previously held by the HRC’s Chief Financial Officer, Lex Davidson who sadly passed away in December 2014.

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Staff changes - HRC Māori Secretariat

Rachel Brown (Te Atiawa ki Wharekauri, Kai Tahu), HRC Group Manager – Māori Health Research, will be going on sabbatical for one year starting 1 July 2015. Rachel will be taking this time to complete the write up of her PhD. Jaylene Wehipeihana (Tuhoe) will be ‘Acting’ Group Manager – Māori Health Research during this time.
Joanna JardenWe are pleased to announce that Joanna Jarden has just joined the Māori Health Research Team as our new part-time Project Co-ordinator. Joanna's qualifications include a Bachelor of Science (First class honours) from the University of Canterbury in Public Health. She has significant experience working in chronic disease prevention, evaluation and with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Australia.

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Māori Health Committee changesProfessor Linda Tuhiwai Smith
Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith
, CNZM (Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Porou) has now finished her two three-year terms on the HRC Māori Health Committee, where she has served as Chair. We gratefully acknowledge Professor Tuhiwai Smith’s outstanding contribution to the Māori Health Committee and the HRC as a whole.

Mr Mohi RuaWe are pleased to welcome Mr Mohi Rua (Ngāi Tuhoe, Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Whakaue) to the HRC’s Māori Health Committee. Mohi is a trained registered psychologist and senior lecturer at the University of Waikato’s School of Psychology. He has a special interest in kauapapa Māori, community, social, and indigenous psychology. Mohi recently submitted his PhD thesis which explored the notion that Māori men’s health is relative to their relationships with family, friends, and significant others.

Mohi has been co-principal investigator of a Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga project which considered the relation notions of Maori men's health. One of the research focus areas included working with homeless Māori men in central Auckland on a vegetable garden initiative at Orakei marae. This particular initiative fostered supportive relationships and positive social interactions where the men found a sense of dignity, meaning and connectedness beyond the hardships of exclusion, food and housing insecurities, and marginalisation. 

Mohi was raised in Kawerau and has one child who attends Te Kohanga Reo o Nga Kuaka and three children who attend TKKM o Toku Mapihi Maurea in Hamilton. 

Associate Professor Suzanne PitamaCongratulations to HRC Māori Health Committee member Suzanne Pitama (Ngāti Kahungunu) who is now an Associate Professor. Suzanne is a senior lecturer with the Māori Indigenous Health Institute at the University of Otago, Christchurch.

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Farewell to two HRC Board members

As well as completing her terms on the HRC Māori Health Committee, Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith, CNZM has also completed her two three-year terms on the HRC Board, along with Professor Ann Richardson from the University of Canterbury. The HRC would like to thank Linda and Ann for the excellent work they have done over the past six years while serving on the board. The Ministry of Health is currently in the process of appointing replacements for Linda and Ann.

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Have your say on the strategic refresh of the HRC
Government officials from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and the Ministry of Health are currently conducting a strategic refresh of the HRC. We encourage you to let the refresh team know your views on the HRC’s role in supporting New Zealand’s health research sector. You can take part via MBIE’s website and dedicated email for refresh contributions.

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Register for the next Māori Health Research Writing Workshop in Palmerston North
You can still register for the HRC Māori Health Research Writing Workshop in Palmerston North this Friday (the Auckland workshop is taking place today, 21 April). Details are as follows:

Friday, 24 April 2015
Room MSSR 1&2
Te Pūtahi-ā-Toi, Māori Studies
Massey University, Turitea Campus
Palmerston North

The purpose of the workshop is to:

  • provide information to Māori health researchers, providers and practitioners on the funding available for Māori health research through the HRC’s annual funding round, career development awards, and other Māori health research funding opportunities within the HRC
  • encourage and assist Māori community organisations, along with new and existing health researchers, to prepare funding applications for the HRC's 2016 funding round.

If you're keen or need help with getting funding from the HRC, circle contact Mel Potaka-Osborne:, phone (06) 347 6772 so she can answer any queries and send you a registration form.

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2016 Ngā Kanohi Kitea Investigator Briefing Meeting

The 2016 Ngā Kanohi Kitea funding initiative will open in August 2015. An Investigator Briefing Meeting (IBM) will be held in August before the round opening. More details regarding the IBM will be posted on the HRC website and in HRC Update.

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2016 Māori Health Research Career Development Awards

The 2016 Māori Health Research Career Development Awards will open on 1 July 2015 and close on 3 September 2015. Currently the forms and guidelines are being updated to reflect the changes made within the HRC Gateway portal. Forms and guidelines will be available in June 2015.

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Preventing and Minimising Gambling Harm Career Development Awards 
The HRC is administering the Preventing and Minimising Gambling Harm CareerMinistry of Health Development Awards, which are funded by the Ministry of Health. Applicants are invited to apply for Masters, PhD and Postdoctoral awards to support the career development of emerging health researchers seeking to prevent and minimise gambling-related harm for Māori and Pacific populations in New Zealand. Applicants can apply using the standard HRC Maori or Pacific career development forms, which will be available on the HRC's website in June.

Award components: Stipend of $10,000; course fees up to $10,000; working expenses of $1,600
Term of award: 1 year
Number of awards available: 1

Award components: Stipend of $75,000; course fees up to $25,000; working expenses of $15,000
Term of award: 3 years
Number of awards available: 1

Award components: Stipend and working expenses up to a total of $410,000
Term of award: 4 years
Number of awards available: 1

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PhD opportunity: Respiratory research for Māori
The Asthma Foundation and HRC are once again funding a joint research Asthma Foundation logopartnership initiative to support a Māori PhD student to undertake high-quality respiratory research for Māori.

The Asthma Foundation’s mission is better respiratory health for all New Zealanders and Māori health is a key strategic priority. Noting the significant inequalities experienced by Māori across a range of respiratory conditions, the Asthma Foundation sees this PhD scholarship as a key opportunity to provide high-quality Māori-led research providing evidence for, or leading directly to, service changes that will yield improved respiratory health outcomes for Māori.

Go to our Māori Health Research page to download the standard Māori health PhD application form and guidelines, which will be on the website in June.

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HRC Gateway and application form changes
The application forms for the 2016 funding round initiatives have been changed to incorporate changes made to the HRC Gateway submission portal. Note that changes affect both the electronic form and hard copies. Please ensure you read the HRC Gateway User Guide.
Summary of changes

  • Application forms are now shorter.
  • The classification section of the application form will now be completed online as part of your web form. The classifications list will be available within the HRC Gateway Portal. This section will be included in your application as part of your system-generated pdf.
  • The administrative agreement information for the 2016 funding round will be added to the system-generated pdf for printing, but signatures will not be required until the contract stage. Please note this does not apply to applications processed through our Partnership Programme.

Hard copy:

  • HRC Gateway will insert the budget into a system-generated pdf for printing of the hard copy. The budget pdf will no longer need to be printed and inserted into the HRC hard copy.
  • CVs will no longer be inserted into the application form. The CVs will now be uploaded to HRC Gateway as pdfs.
  • HRC Gateway will insert the CVs into a system-generated pdf for printing of the hard copy.

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Hui Whakapiripiri report now online
The HRC’s Hui Whakapiripiri 2014 was held on 9–10 July at the Waipuna Hotel and Conference Centre, Auckland. Now you can download the full report of all the sessions, including keynote speakers and panel presentations from the HRC’s website. If you would like a printed version of the report, please email Catherine Ramzan at

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Research profiles

Dr Meihana DurieDr Meihana Durie: Drawing on Matāuranga Māori to promote health and well-being

Māori well-being specialist Dr Meihana Durie was recently awarded the HRC’s prestigious Hohua Tutengaehe Research Fellowship in Māori Health. In doing so, he became the first person to receive HRC funding from Te Wānanga o Raukawa, a tikanga Māori tertiary education provider in Ōtaki. Read the full story.

Dr Karen BrewerDr Karen Brewer: Supporting Māori with stroke-related communication disorders
About a third of people with stroke are affected by aphasia, a communication disorder where the patient struggles to understand and produce written and spoken language. University of Auckland speech-language therapist Dr Karen Brewer is working on a HRC-funded project to develop speech-language therapy resources that reflect the world views and identities of Māori. Read the full story.

Dr Reremoana TheodoreDr Reremoana Theodore: The power of kaupapa Māori education to transform Māori health
Dr Reremoana (Moana) Theodore is a passionate advocate of lifecourse research, particularly exploring how what happens in childhood and early development affects people’s health later down the track. She is now examining the impact of education on Māori health outcomes as part of a HRC postdoctoral fellowship. Read the full story.

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Application dates

The 2016 annual funding round will open with Expression of Interest registrations on 15 June 2015 and close on 15 July 2015. Forms and guidelines will be posted on the HRC website in May.

Full applications:
Clinical Practitioner Research Fellowship
The Sir Charles Hercus Health Research Fellowship
Clinical Research Training Fellowship
Foxley Fellowship

Online submissions open 4 June 2015 (8am)
Online submissions close 1 July 2015 (12pm, noon)
Hard copies due at the HRC by 3 July 2015 (5pm)
Projects – Expression of Interest
Online submissions open 15 June 2015 (8am)
Online submissions close 15 July 2015 (12pm, noon)
Hard copies due at the HRC by 17 July 2015 (5pm)
Projects – Full application (Invitation only)
Online submissions open 6 October 2015 (8am)
Online submissions close 18 November (12pm, noon)
Hard copies due at the HRC by 20 November 2015 (5pm)
Programmes – Full application
Online submissions open 10 August 2015 (8am)
Online submissions close 14 October 2015 (12pm, noon)
Hard copies due at the HRC by 16 October 2015 (5pm)
Full applications:
Emerging Researcher First Grant
Feasibility Studies

Online submissions open 10 August 2015 (8am)
Online submissions close 4 September 2015 (12pm, noon)
Hard copies due at the HRC by 8 September 2015 (5pm)
Explorer Grants – Full application
Online submissions open 1 October 2015 (8am)
Online submissions close 4 November 2015 (12pm, noon)
Hard copies due at the HRC by 6 November 2015 (5pm)

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Conferences and events

He Manawa Whenua logo
He Mana Whenua – Indigenous Research Conference 2015
29 June – 1 July 2015

Claudelands Conference & Exhibition Centre | Hamilton

Te Kotahi Research Institute invites you to share your innovative indigenous research that will inspire well-being for our communities, whānau, hapū, iwi and tribal nations.

Confirmed speakers include:
Dr Bonnie Duran; Dr Ruakere Hond; Moe Milne; Associate Professor Leonie Pihama; Mereana Pitman; Dr Jamee Māhealani Miller; Professor Bob Morgan; Professor Graham Smith; Dr Lance O'Sullivan; Professor Pou Temara; Dr Sarah-Jane Tiakiwai; Professor Karina Walters; and Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith.
Registrations are open and all conference details are online. 

Registrations are open and all conference details are online


Healing Our Spirit WorldwideHealing Our Spirit Worldwide logo

16 – 19 November 2015

The University of Waikato | Hamilton

This is an opportunity for indigenous people worldwide who have an interest and commitment to the health and healing of indigenous communities, especially healing from the effects of substance abuse issues, to come together in a cultural and spiritual community. The 2015 gathering of Healing Our Spirit Worldwide will provide the forum to:
  • share initiatives, programmes and solutions
  • connect and learn from other each other as indigenous people
  • share strengths, hope and wisdom
  • celebrate and express cultural practices, keeping alive the cultural and spiritual foundation of indigenous people.
The call for abstracts is now open and closes on 1 May 2015.

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