New research explores links between culture and health for urban Māori

By Leah Te Whata
  • Auckland

Māori health and cultural academic Sir Mason Durie, has described Te Whānau o Waipereira's newest research publication as ground-breaking. Ka Pū Te Wai o Pereira highlights catalysts of health and wellbeing for Māori families living in West Auckland.

Hoani Waititi Marae is a cultural home away from home for urban Māori.

Hoani Waititi Marae manager Shane White says, "If there wasn't a marae like Hoani Waititi I wouldn't live in the city."

New research by Te Whānau o Waipereira explores the links between culture and the holistic health of Māori in West Auckland.

Wai Research Director Tanya Allport says, "Health is very tied up with culture, and for urban Māori that means that part of the exploration of how to express culture within an urban context is also part of the journey to exploring what health means."

Māori health and cultural academic Sir Mason Durie, describes the research as ground-breaking.

"It's ground-breaking because most of the research has been about why  people don't do well, why do people do badly, this is about why do people do well."

Members of the West Auckland Māori Community say that there are many benefits to living in the city, however, maintaining cultural connections is vital.

Witeri Williams from Te Whānau o Waipereira says, "This is new ground, a new place to seek out knowledge."

Shane White says, "Here in the city there are many opportunities and many hands to help you out."

The Te Whānau o Waipereira Trust will now implement the findings of 'Ka Pū Te Wai o Pereira' across their health services.