Dr Matire Harwood
Dr Matire Harwood. Photo supplied by L'Oréal

30 October, 2017

Dr Matire Harwood has been awarded a fellowship in the L'Oréal UNESCO For Women in Science programme for her research into health inequities between indigenous and non-indigenous people.

The Auckland University clinical researcher and GP has devoted her career to investigating conditions like cardiovascular disease, asthma, stroke and diabetes, in relation to Māori health.

Dr Harwood served as a member of the Board and Māori Health Committee at the Health Research Council up until May this year. She is currently working with the National Hauora Coalition on a project jointly funded by the Health Research Council, Ministry of Health and the Healthier Lives National Science Challenge, to improve outcomes for Māori living with diabetes.

She says the fellowship will enable her to accelerate her work on the effect of indigenous-led interventions for long-term conditions.

“This comes at an important time with Māori health outlined as a major priority in the 2017 – 2027 New Zealand Health Research Strategy which proposes more equitable health outcomes benefitting the nation as a whole.”

The L'Oréal UNESCO for Women in Science programme has been celebrating women researchers around the world since 1998.

HRC Chief Executive Kath McPherson says it’s fantastic to have L'Oréal supporting women in science. “This brings wider attention to Matire’s work which has been hugely significant in New Zealand, and is now being valued on an international scale.”

The L'Oréal UNESCO For Women in Science Australia and New Zealand Fellowship programme comprises five $25,000 awards, including one dedicated to a New Zealander.

Dr Harwood will be presented with her award alongside four Australian Fellows in Sydney on 31 October. A local ceremony honouring her achievement will be held in Auckland on 2 November.