Te rangawairua o paratene ngata
Research Centre

The vision of the late Dr Paratene Ngata was:
“for Ngāti Porou Hauora to lead our own research, as a tikanga and research-based centre of excellence for Hauora Māori”.

As the first Māori health provider in New Zealand to develop its own research policy and procedures, we have a proud history of leadership and collaborations when it comes to research and evaluation. We are an active partner with local and international groups working to improve health and well-being for rural and indigenous people.

Current programmes

Pepi Ora

In partnership with The Vodafone New Zealand Foundation and Todd Foundation, we are in the process of developing Pēpi Ora. Pēpi Ora is an incentive-based programme for young families that rewards parents for the important contribution they make to NZ society. Once trialled and refined into an attractive, functional app; this programme has great potential.

Uawa HPV Vaccination Initiative: Evaluative case study

The  Uawa Health Centre and Tolaga Bay Area School have co-designed a modified information sharing and delivery process with support from the TDHB to improve the 2017/18 HPV vaccination programme. It aims to improve information sharing and increase uptake of the vaccination, especially by males. Vaccinations were as offered at school and included education sessions with males led by males (a GP and science teacher). An evaluative case study of this successful initiative was recently completed, with funding support from Cancer Society Central Districts and the J R McKenzie Trust to critically reflect on what worked well and to share learnings.

Huringa Pai

The Huringa Pai (‘positive change’) movement was born out of Ngāti Porou Hauora during 2015 when Puhi Kaiti Health Centre staff, patients and whānau decided to team up to tackle diabetes and heart disease. Initially with zero-budget, this community-led movement has grown exponentially to empower whānau to ‘move more’, eat and grow healthier kai (food). In 2017 the community took full ownership, forming the Huringa Pai Charitable Trust. With funding support from the JR McKenzie Trust and Hawkes Bay Medical Research Foundation, an evaluative case study has now been completed to share the journey, learnings and success of this initiative and to inform further developments.


In response to high rates of SUDI (sudden unexplained infant deaths occurring while sleeping) in Māori children, the Nukutere Weavers’ Collective in Tairawhiti developed the Wahakura in 2006, the country’s first Māori safe-sleeping device. Research led by Dr Tipene-Leach, a NPH GP during the development of Wahakura, has since endorsed this cultural device to keep baby safe.  The NPH Nati and Healthy programme continues to support Wahakura workshops as an effective way to engage expectant mums and pass on a range of antenatal messages.

FRUCTOSE in Schools

The ‘Fructose in Schools Study’ works with secondary school science students, their teachers and whānau to explore how fructose (the most dangerous sugar in our diet) is absorbed by different people in different ways, and the effect this has on body weight and health. With University of Otago and University of Auckland members of the Maurice Wilkins Centre for Molecular Biodiscovery, and Health Research Council funding, this study is an opportunity for local tauira (students) to engage with research as a potential career whilst learning about their bodies and their health.

Deep phenotyping Study:  Metabolic Effects of CREBRF and Other Gene Variants

This study, funded by the Health Research Council with the University of Auckland, University of Otago and some Maurice Wilkins Centre researchers focuses on better understanding the impact that gene variants, including a CREBRF variant, can have on the risk of developing type-2 diabetes and related metabolic conditions like gout, obesity, and heart disease. The aim is to assess how small differences in our genes affect body structure (height, muscle and fat mass)and how our bodies handle kai (metabolism). In the longer term the findings will contribute to improving treatment and prevention of these diseases. Participants are gifting their data through a mixed meal test and a Dexa scan of body composition.

Gout and Related Conditions: Genetics and Environment Programme

In partnership with University of Otago since 2006, our longest ongoing research programme focuses on increasing understandings about what genes and kai (food)have to do with the gout and related metabolic conditions -
like diabetes, heart disease and kidney disease. We compare information gifted byparticipants with and without gout and various related conditions. We also regularlyshare these emergent understandings with whanau, doctors, nurses and kaiawhina toinform management and prevention of such conditions. The Health ResearchCouncil ofNew Zealand has been the major funder, with earlier support fromLottery Health, University of Otago and the Heart Foundation of New Zealand. See panui  fora summary of some key findings to date. 

Te Ara Auahi Kore (TAKe) Research Programme

With the University of Otago (Wellington), Whakauae Research Services (Whanganui) and five other Māori health providers, Ngāti Porou Hauora is participating in the TAKe programme funded by the Health Research Council. The aim is to understand why Māori smoking rates are bucking the country’s overall decline in smoking, and how to improve ways to reduced is proportionately high smoking rates among Māori. We hope to discover what may work better for Māori - and within that, for whānau in our rohe.

Maori variome project

The Variome Project is led by Genomics Aotearoa from the University of Otago in collaboration with other Māori researchers and health providers, including Ngāti Porou Hauora. The purpose is to work with participants to safely assemble a collection of genetic variations present in the genomes of people with Māori ancestry (such a collection is called a ‘variome’). Assembling this ‘reference collection’ is important to ensure that genetic tests now used in a wide range of healthcare will work properly and are appropriate for people with Māori ancestry. The genetic uniqueness of Māori has not been a consideration in many tests in use today, and as a result it is unknown how useful they are. The Variome will be protected and its use regulated by a steering group drawn from communities who have contributed to the project.


With MBIE funding, Genomics Aotearoa and researchers from the University of Otago and University of Auckland are working with Ngāti Porou Hauora as the Rakeiora Pathfinder Programme’s primary care site (https://www.genomics-aotearoa.org.nz/projects/rakeiora-pathfinder-genomic-medicine). The purpose is to co-design, test and evolve ideas, processes and tikanga about how a platform can be established to support and underpin research that aims to explore how genomic information could be incorporated into healthcare across Aotearoa. The programme comprises two sub-projects: the Primary Care Project (with NPH)and the Tertiary Care Project (with the University of Auckland and Auckland’s DHBs). The key aim with NPH is to focus on the unique challenges brought by the primary care context to research on the value, utility and practicability of genomic precision medicine. These challenges include cultural, ethical, informatic and infrastructural issues that need to be addressed to establish and oversee an acceptable, successful research platform.

worth study (which one is right here)

Ngāti Porou Hauora is participating in this  study led by University  of  Auckland researchers in  collaboration with the University of Otago, several diabetes specialists, general practitioners and other health providers. The aim is to help us choose more personalised and effective treatment for people with Type 2 diabetes in the future by identifying clinical and genetic predictors of different person’s responses to diabetes medicines - so the right medication is given to the right patient at the right time. Participants have trialled two standard diabetes medications that can now be added when other medicines are not enough to maintain good blood sugar levels, and their gifted data is being analysed.

our partners

recent reports


Guidelines for Genomic Research with Māori.



Exchanging on social power in health. Case Study: Ngāti Porou Hauora, New Zealand.



The wider economic benefits of providing health services.



Informing Cultural Guidelines for Bio-banking and Genomic Research.

Auto Updated list of Articles can be found on Google Scholar here
Download NPH Research Bibliography

featured reports

Harré Hindmarsh, J., Aston, B., & Henare, C. (2007). Manaakitia te rawa kore—Supporting the disempowered. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 5,331–345. Doi: 10.1007/s11469-007-9113-5.  [NPH – re sinking lid policy for poker machines]

Coppell, K. J., Tipene-Leach, D. C., Pahau, H. L. R., Williams, S. M., Abel, S., Iles, M., Harre Hindmarsh, J. K., & Mann, J. I. (2009). Two-year results from a community-wide diabetes prevention intervention in a high risk indigenous community: The Ngati and Healthy project. Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, 85(2), 220-227.

Harré Hindmarsh, J. & King, F. (2015) Trial of Health Literacy Innovation to Improve Antibiotic Adherence for Treatment of Group A Streptococcal Sore Throats: Evaluation Report to Ministry of Health. Gisborne: Ngāti Porou Hauora Charitable Trust.

Kenealy T. W., Parsons, M. J. G., Rouse, A. P. B., Doughty, R. N., Sheridan, N. F., Harre Hindmarsh, J. K., … Rea, H. H. (2015). Telecare for diabetes, CHF or COPD: Effect on quality of life, hospital use and costs. A randomised controlled trial and qualitative evaluation. PLoS One 10(3): e0116188. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0116188  [Univ Auckland/NPH]

Merriman T,  Harré Hindmarsh J (2015) How to have a happy (and gout free) Christmas. Nati Link Connecting Our Iwi, December Issue. Gisborne: Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou. http://www.ngatiporou.com

Hudson, M., Beaton, A., Milne, M., Port, W., Russell, K., Smith, B., … Wilcox, P. (2016)Te Mata Ira: Guidelines for genomic research with Māori. Hamilton: Te Mata Hautū Taketake – Māori and Indigenous Governance Centre, University of Waikato.  [Ngati Porou one of five iwi participating in background research for Te Mata Ira]. http://www.waikato.ac.nz/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/321534/Te-Mata-Ira-Genome-Research-Guidelines.pdf  

Matheson, D. & Matheson, K. (2017)   Case Study: Ngati Porou Hauora, New Zealand. In the Shaping of Health programme on learning from international experiences on approaches to community power, participation and decision-making in health, in association with NPH, Training and Research Support Centre. [TARSC/NPH]

Crengle S, Luke JN, Lambert M, Smylie J, Reid S, Harré Hindmarsh J, Kelaher M. (2018). Effects of a health literacy intervention trial on knowledge about cardiovascular disease medications among Indigenous peoples in Australia, Canada and New Zealand. BMJ Open 8 (1) https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/8/1/e018569

Krishnan M, Major T, Topliss R, Dewes O, Lennox Y, Thompson JMD, McCowan L, Zoysa J, Amp L, Dalbeth N, Harré Hindmarsh J, Rapana N, Deka R, Eng W, Weeks D, Minster R, McGarvey S, Viali S, Naseri T, Reupena MS, Wilcox P, Grattan D, Shepherd P, Shelling A, Murphy R, Merriman T. (2018) Discordant association of the CREBRF rs373863828 A allele with increased BMI and protection from type 2 diabetes in Maori and Pacific (Polynesian) people living in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Diabetologia.   http://doi.org/10.1007/s00125-018-4623-1 . [Uni Otago et al/NPH].

Stokes, F., Dixon, H., & Nana, G. (2015). Ngāti Porou Hauora: The wider economic benefits of providing health services. Wellington: Business Economic Research Limited (BERL)

Tan, L. (2021). Ngāti Porou Health Dashboard. Te Puia Springs: Ngāti Porou Hauora. [NPH]

where are we?

te rangawairua o paratene ngata research centre
Te whare hauora o ngāti porou
4 Mckenzie street
Te puia springs 4079
ph: (06) 864 6803
pumau ki te oranga
408 wainui road
Inner kaiti
Gisborne 4010