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Māori Health Committee

The Māori Health Committee is a statutory committee of the Health Research Council and is responsible for advising Council on health research for Māori, including cultural issues relating to the gathering, verification, and validation of information.

New Zealand fern koru

The Māori Health Committee held its first meeting on 14 February 1991, which was chaired by the late Professor Eru Pomare (Te Atiawa, Ngati Toa, Ngati Kahungunu, Rongomaiwahine, Rongowhakaata), the founding Chair of the MHC.

The committee is responsible for distributing funds dedicated to Māori health research and career development. Application assessment and peer review is undertaken each year by appointing Māori health assessing committees with expertise specific to the applications within a given funding round. The Māori health assessing committees are chaired by a Māori Health Committee member with other members recruited from qualified Māori researchers.

The functions of the Māori Health Committee are set out in Sections 17 to 22 of the Health Research Council Act 1990, and the criteria for membership is set out in Section 23. Click here for the Terms of Reference.

Committee members:

  • Professor Suzanne Pitama - Chair (Ngāti Kahungunu, Rakaipaaka), Associate Dean Māori and Director of the Māori Indigenous Health Institute at the University of Otago, Christchurch
  • Dr Annabel Ahuriri-Driscoll (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Heretaunga), Lecturer, School of Health Sciences, College of Education, Health and Human Development, University of Canterbury (co-opted)
  • Professor Meihana Durie (Rangitāne, Ngāti Kauwhata, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Porou, Rongo Whakaata, Ngāi Tahu), Deputy Vice-Chancellor Māori, Massey University
  • Dr Will Edwards (Taranaki, Ngā Ruahine, Tāngahoe, Pakakohi, Ngāti Ruanui), Senior Research Fellow, Te Pou Tiringa Incorporated, New Plymouth
  • Associate Professor Ricci Harris (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Hinewaka, Ngāi Tūāhuriri, Ngāti Kapumanawawhiti), Research Associate Professor/Public Health Physician, Te Rōpū Rangahau Hauora a Eru Pōmare
  • Dr Kimiora Henare (Te Rarawa, Te Aupōuri), Research Fellow, Te Kupenga Hauora Māori, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, The University of Auckland (co-opted)

  • Dr Sarah-Jane Paine (Tuhoe, Ngāti Rongo), Senior Lecturer, Te Kupenga Hauora Māori, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, The University of Auckland
  • Dr Nina Scott (Waikato, Ngāti Whātua), Clinical Director Māori Public Health, Te Puna Oranga (Māori Health Service), Strategy and Funding, Waikato District Health Board 
  • Associate Professor Emma Wyeth (Kāi Tahu, Te Ātiawa, Ngāti Tama, Ngāti Mutunga), Lecturer - Māori Health, Director - Ngāi Tahu Māori Health Research Unit, Preventive & Social Medicine, Ngāi Tahu Māori Health Research Unit, Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin.

Committee Secretary: Ms Le-Shan Pomana-Wesley - Manager, Māori Health Research