Project 5: Raranga Tāngata, Oranga Tāngata

Project outline

Through a four-phased approach (Kaitiakitanga; Ngā kāhui whetū, ngā kāhui kōrero; He waka eke noa; He whaiwhakaaro) over the five-year research period, Raranga Tāngata, Oranga Tāngata aims to answer the following questions:

  1. What are the experiences of whānau within the context of health and social services? Do they experience health and social services as fragmented? What are the implications arising from fragmented delivery?
  2. Which components of service delivery make services provided more likely to be fragmented? Which components support integration?
  3. What might integrated services look like from the perspective of whānau? What are the implications for health and social service delivery and for health and social outcomes?

As with all research that was underway when our worlds changed with the 2020 global pandemic, Raranga Tāngata, Oranga Tāngata has had to reconsider, evolve and adapt to the new environment created by COVID-19. To undertake this study in the current context we must consider the significant impact the pandemic has had on Indigenous populations worldwide, and on our own Indigenous population in Aotearoa. Therefore, whilst still focusing on the original aims of the research to seek Māori understandings and experiences of integrated and fragmented health and social services care, we will ensure this occurs in a way that honours the altered realities and priorities of whānau Māori.

In first developing the research, Whānau Ora was recognised as a solution to the fragmentation of health and social services, and specifically, its impact on Māori – with whānau being a natural site for effective intervention. The Māori response to COVID-19, and in particular the response of Māori health and social services, including Whānau Ora services, provides a rich source of data from which we can learn. We are currently in discussions with our wider programme team and Te Rōpū Kaitiaki about how we might refocus our research to better understand the impact of COVID-19 on the Māori health service provision sector and the implications of this pandemic, both positive and negative, on aspects of integration.

For further information, contact:

Dr Lynne Russell


Te Rōpū Kaitiaki

Te Rōpū Kaitiaki provides guidance for the Raranga Tāngata, Oranga Tāngata research project. We are extremely fortunate to have secured the support of the following kaitiaki who bring a wealth of personal experience, capacity, professional and clinical expertise to the research project, in: mātauranga, tikanga and te reo Māori; iwi/hapū development; hauora Māori; Whānau Ora; health and social services; health promotion; policy development; funding and planning within the health sector; and Māori methodologies.

  • Whaea Moe Milne (Ngāti Hine, Ngāpuhi);
  • Gabrielle Baker (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Kuri);
  • Assoc Prof Matire Harwood (Ngāpuhi);
  • Dr Chris Tooley (Ngāti Kahungunu);
  • Wheturangi Walsh-Tapiata (Ngāti Raukawa, Ngā Rauru, Te Ati Awa, Te Atihau-nui-a-Paparangi); and
  • Tracey Wright-Tāwha (Kāi Tahu).


The team

Under the guidance of our kaumatua Wiremu (Bill) Kaua (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Horowai, Rongowhakaata, Rakaipaaka, Te Aitanga Hauiti), the current kairangahau Māori members of the Raranga Tāngata, Oranga Tāngata team are:

  • Dr Lynne Russell (Kāi Tahu, Ngāti Kahungunu, Rangitāne, Ngāti Porou, Kāti Māmoe, Te Wainui a Rua, Ngāti Raukawa);
  • Dr Amohia Boulton (Ngāti Ranginui, Ngai te Rangi, Ngāti Pukenga, Ngāti Mutunga);
  • Nora Parore (Ngāti Whātua, Ngāpuhi).

This team, and the research, would not have come into being, however, without the tireless work of the previous Project Lead Dr Kirsten Smiler (Te Whānau a Kai, Te Aitanga a Mahaki, Rongowhakaata, Te Whakatōhea). We acknowledge the huge contribution Kirsten has made to the development of this project, including the gifting of its name and early direction. We also acknowledge the important contributions to the development of Raranga Tāngata, Oranga Tāngata of a number of other Māori researchers, including epidemiologist Dr Lis Ellison-Loschmann (Te Atiawa, Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Ngāti Raukawa). We are hopeful this research expertise may continue to contribute across the course of the project. Mā whero, mā pango, ka oti ai te mahi.

Kaumātua: The Venerable Wiremu (Bill) Kaua OZMN, JP has had a long public service career across many decades, in a variety of sectors. Throughout, he has been an enduring proponent of Te Reo Māori and Māori immersion education, and has provided cultural advice to numerous agencies and organisations. He is also a minister of the Anglican Church. The research programme is extremely fortunate to have Matua Bill provide cultural guidance across the programme, and in particular, support the work of the kairangahau Māori in the Raranga Tāngata, Oranga Tāngata team.

Lynne Russell (Project Lead) is a senior Māori health researcher in the Health Services Research Centre/Te Hikuwai Rangahau Hauora, within the Victoria University of Wellington Faculty of Health (Te Wāhanga Tātai Hauora, Te Herenga Waka). As a kaupapa Māori researcher, her interests focus primarily on Indigenous knowledge and healing practices used in recovery from trauma associated with mental distress, suicide loss and self-harm; and the transformative power and healing potential of Indigenous storytelling.

Amohia Boulton (Key Advisor) has a significant background in public policy, Māori health research and health services research. In 2009 she joined Whakauae Research Services, an iwi-owned and mandated health research centre in Whanganui, and in 2016 was appointed Research Centre Director. She is committed to high quality kaupapa Māori research that makes a difference for Māori, her interests especially focussing on the interface between health and social policy and service-level implementation.

Nora Parore is a Māori researcher, registered pharmacist and doctoral candidate. Her doctoral study is looking at successful development of pharmacist services to support Māori. Her Māori health research interests are primarily across primary health care, pharmacist-led service development and health policy. Nora is the recipient of a Health Research Council Clinical Research Training Fellowship to examine Māori experiences of pharmacists and the health system.

Elizabeth (Dewes) Barnao is completing a Bachelor of Health at Te Herenga Waka / Victoria University of Wellington, double majoring in Health Promotion, Population Health, Policy and Service Delivery. Elizabeth was accepted for the Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga 2020/21 Summer Internship Programme and the Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga 2021 Matariki Internship. Research interests include Māoi health, particularly around the social determinants of health and health inequities.

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