Māori Health Research PhD Scholarship (2016 funding round)

Miss Chanel Phillips
University of Otago
Kia maanu, kia ora: Examining Māori water safety
36 months

Lay summary

Māori are deeply connected to the ocean. Yet, Māori have alarming rates of drowning within the ocean environment. Although Māori comprise approximately 15 per cent of New Zealand’s population, Māori account for 22 per cent of the national drowning statistics (Water Safety New Zealand, 2015; Haimona & Takurua, 2007). There is very little published research that examines why Māori have high rates of drowning despite a cultural connection to water. This doctoral research will investigate the health connection of Māori to the ocean, rivers and lakes and highlight whether the health connection contributes to Māori drowning rates. I will employ Kaupapa Māori theory and Critical Discourse Analysis to frame the research. Methods of study include: semi-structured interviews, hui (group interviews), wānanga kōrero (wānanga interviews), reflective piece and two case studies in Hawkes Bay and Otago.

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