10th November 2017, Volume 130 Number 1465

Papaarangi Reid, Sarah-Jane Paine, Elana Curtis, Rhys Jones, Anneka Anderson, Esther Willing, Matire Harwood

Health research has an extensive reach into health practice from evidence-based medicine and clinical trials through to systems monitoring and data reporting. As a result, health professionals are required to…

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Summary

Responsiveness to Māori reflects the Government’s view that health research in New Zealand will contribute to improving Māori health and eliminating health inequities. As recipients of government funding, health researchers have obligations to meet these expectations. In this paper, we consider how an equity approach to responsiveness to Māori can be used by researchers to consider Māori health priorities, develop appropriate relationships with Māori and commit to undertaking research that mitigates rather than extends health inequities.

Abstract

Excellent health research is essential for good health outcomes, services and systems. Health research should also build towards equity and in doing so ensure that no one is left behind. As recipients of government funding, researchers are increasingly required to demonstrate an understanding of their delegated responsibilities to undertake research that has the potential to address Māori health needs and priorities. These requirements form the basis of responsiveness to Māori in health research, and several research institutions have implemented systems to support their organisational approach to this endeavour. However, many health researchers have a narrow view of responsiveness to Māori and how it might be relevant to their work. In this viewpoint paper we provide an overview of existing frameworks that can be used to develop thinking and positioning in relation to the Treaty of Waitangi and responsiveness to Māori. We also describe an equity-based approach to responsiveness to Māori and highlight four key areas that require careful consideration, namely: (1) relevance to Māori; (2) Māori as participants; (3) promoting the Māori voice, and; (4) human tissue. Finally, we argue for greater engagement with responsiveness to Māori activities as part of our commitment to achieving equitable health outcomes.

Author Information

Papaarangi Reid, Tumuaki and Head of Department, Te Kupenga Hauora Māori, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, Auckland; Sarah-Jane Paine, Senior Research Fellow, Te Kupenga Hauora Māori, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, Auckland; Elana Curtis, Senior Lecturer, Te Kupenga Hauora Māori, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, Auckland; Rhys Jones, Senior Lecturer, Te Kupenga Hauora Māori, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, Auckland; Anneka Anderson, Lecturer, Te Kupenga Hauora Māori, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, Auckland; Esther Willing, Lecturer, Te Kupenga Hauora Māori, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, Auckland; Matire Harwood, Senior Lecturer, Te Kupenga Hauora Māori, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, Auckland.

Acknowledgements

We would like to acknowledge our colleagues at the Tōmaiora Research Group and Te Kupenga Hauora Māori for their support. Our thanks to Dr Donna Cormack for her advice on an early draft of this paper.

Correspondence

Sarah-Jane Paine, Te Kupenga Hauora Māori, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland 1142.

Correspondence Email

sj.paine@auckland.ac.nz

Competing Interests

Dr Paine is a previous Science Assessing Committee member for the Health Research Council of New Zealand, a co-opted member of the Māori Health Committee for the Health Research Council of New Zealand, and is currently involved in research projects that are funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand and by the Ministry of Health.

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