New research project to look at family and sexual violence for Māori

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Researchers at the University of Waikato have received $2.16 million in funding to conduct the first national survey of family and sexual violence for Māori.

The funding was awarded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) through the Endeavour Fund to the He Waka Eke Noa: Maori Cultural Frameworks for Violence Prevention and Intervention

The research project will conduct a national survey to examine prevalence rates of family and sexual violence for Māori and will also ask about pathways for intervention and prevention. 

According to the University of Waikato news, the survey is part of a "... wider four-year project, which will provide an evidence based measure of the prevalence of family and sexual violence for Māori, and extend that to prevention and intervention grounded in Māori culturally defined programmes and initiatives."

Lead researcher on the project, Associate Professor Leonie Pihama, Director of Te Kotahi Research Institute, said:

“We want a very strong kaupapa Māori approach. Numbers alone are useful in a policy frame and a resourcing frame, but they’re not really going to tell us what we need to do. That’s why we’re using a mixed method, and in-depth work on top of the survey.”

She also said there needs to be policy shifts to ensure that funding and programmes are effective for Māori:

“We must put forward processes of transformative behavioural change, healing and systemic change. Years of work indicating what we need to do has been ignored - and it has been really detrimental, particularly to Māori.”

The research team also includes Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Shirley Simmonds, Rihi Te Nana, Ngaropi Cameron, Cherryl Smith, Herearoha Skipper, Bonnie Duran and community researchers from Te Puna Oranga (Christchurch) and Tū Tama Wahine o Taranaki (New Plymouth).

See the full list of projects that received funding from MBIE.

Related news

The researchers at Te Kotahi Research Institute at the University of Waikato have received the inaugural Te Tohu Rapuora award for Māori Health Research Leadership, Excellence and Contribution from the Health Research Council of New Zealand. The research of Te Kotahi has spanned a number of areas including homelessness, suicide prevention, sexual violence, historical trauma and the impact of colonisation on whānau.

In addition, Professor in Māori and Indigenous Studies and Senior Research Advisor to Te Kotahi Research Institute Linda Tuhiwai Smith has received the inaugural Te Puāwaitanga Award from Royal Society Te Apārangi in recognition of her contribution to Te Ao Māori, and to Māori and Indigenous knowledge.

Related research

For related research see our recommended reading sections on Conceptual models - Tangata whenua and Intervention by population group - Tangata whenua.

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