$43 million for Otago Research Centre to help tamariki hauora

Source / University of Otago

The Eru Pōmare Māori Health Research Centre at the University of Otago has received $28 million USD ($43 million NZD) via the LEGO Foundation for the Build a World of Play Challenge. 

This initiative will give the opportunity for centre to develop Māori-led programmes for pēpi, tamariki and whānau wellbeing and intergenerational playspaces centred on tikanga and te ao Māori. LEGO Foundation supports organizations that make substantial contributions to the lives of children from birth to six years old.

Over the next five years, Wellington will partner with three Māori community organisations, alongside international Indigenous collaborators in the United States, Canada and Australia, led by the Johns Hopkins Center for Indigenous Health.

Otago project lead Dr Paula Thérèse Toko King (Te Aupōuri, Te Rarawa, Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Whātua, Waikato Tainui, Ngāti Maniapoto) is grateful to be part of the prestigious, Indigenous-led grant, and is excited about the rangatiratanga it provides.

“We feel privileged to work with our Indigenous partners to support the moemoeā and aspirations for the wellbeing of pēpi, tamariki, whānau and their communities,” Dr King says.

Associate Professor Bridget Robson (Ngāti Raukawa), Director of Te Rōpū Rangahau Hauora a Eru Pōmare, says the centre was established by Professor Eru Pōmare to do research by and for Māori and to train Māori in a range of research methods.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to work with international and local Indigenous colleagues on community-based research that will help fulfil his aspirations for future generations,” she says.