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Investing in Māori health research

The Health Research Council (HRC) is committed to improving health outcomes for Māori through investment in research.

HRC New Zealand

The HRC funds and supports high-quality Måori health research and invests in the Måori health research workforce.

We have a variety of funding sources available, particularly through our Rangahau Hauora Māori research stream, with funding applicable to individuals, iwi, hapū and whānau.

Māori health research is that which values Māori worldviews and builds Māori research capacity and leadership. It is research which contributes to He Korowai Oranga  and to the Hauora theme of Vision Mātauranga. Māori health research should build an evidence base which contributes to Māori health gains; upholds rangatiratanga and advances Māori knowledge, resources and people.

Examples of our commitment to Māori health research

  • Between 2020 to year ending June 2023, the HRC awarded 80 Māori Health Research Career Development Awards, to the value of $7.86M.
  • More than half the recipients of a Māori Career Development Award have progressed their careers with another HRC-funded opportunity in the past five years.
  • More than 18% of lead investigators on HRC-funded contracts identify as Māori.
  • In 2019, we launched our Māori Health Advancement criterion - a distinct scoring criterion that applies to most HRC research proposals, with the aim of improving Māori health and building towards equity.
  • The HRC provides community-led funding grants to enable iwi, hapū and community groups to investigate well-defined areas of Māori health need or gain, and encourage self-determination and research leadership by Māori, for Māori.
  • In 2018, as part of our first initiative under the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases (GACD), the HRC and Ministry of Health jointly invested up to $2 million to support mental health research focused on Māori and Pacific youth.
  • In 2018, again in partnership with the Ministry of Health, the HRC launched its Māori Health Emerging Leader Fellowships aimed at building leaders and mentors within the Māori health research workforce.
  • The HRC has a longstanding agreement with the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRC) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) aimed at improving the health and wellness of indigenous peoples within the three countries. The HRC has previously hosted an indigenous health workshop attended by delegates from all over New Zealand, Canada and Australia.
  • In 2018, the HRC introduced Te Tohu Rapuora – an award for Māori Health Research Leadership, Excellence, and Contribution, which is awarded annually to a researcher (or group) who has contributed to Māori health advancement over the course of their career.