About Us

Director: Professor Denise Wilson

Denise (Ngāti Tahinga, Tainui) is Professor of Māori Health and the Director of Taupua Waiora Centre for Māori Health Research at AUT University. She has an extensive background in undergraduate and postgraduate nursing education, and teaching and research is in the areas of Māori/indigenous health, culture and health, family violence and health workforce development. She is a Fellow of the College of Nurses Aotearoa (NZ) and Te Mata o te Tau (Academy of Māori Research & Scholarship Other roles Denise holds include being the Editor-in-Chief of Nursing Praxis in New Zealand an editorial board member of Contemporary Nurse; and has been appointed to the Health Research Council's College of Experts; and the Health Quality and Safety Commission's Family Violence Death Review Committee and Roopū Māori. Denise is also a member of Ngā Manukura ō Āpōpō. Denise has previously been the Chair of the Massey University Human Ethics Committee Northern (Albany campus), and elected member of the Board of Nursing Network for Violence Against Women International a member of the 1998 Ministerial Taskforce on Nursing, was the Nursing Council of New Zealand's Education Advisor from 2000 to 2002, and the Co-Chair and a Board member of College of Nurses Aotearoa (NZ), and a Board member of Te Rau Puawai 2006-2010. Over her research career, she has developed relationships with researchers at Yale University, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Western Sydney, and Florida Atlantic University. In 2011 Denise was invited to speak at the US Institute of Medicine (IOM) Global Forum on Violence Prevention's 2-day Workshop on Violence Against Women and Children. More recently, Denise co-authored the Glenn Inquiry's People's Report on Child Abuse and Domestic Violence.

Senior Research Fellow: Dr Isaac Warbrick

Dr Isaac Warbrick (Ngāti Te Ata, Te Arawa, Ngā Puhi) is an exercise physiologist and Senior Research Fellow at Taupua Waiora Centre for Māori Health Research. His past research has focused on the associations between insulin sensitivity (a measure of diabetes risk), body composition, and aerobic fitness, as well as mixed methods intervention studies looking at the impact of different modes of exercise training on health and well-being in Māori men. Much of his research is conducted at the interface between biomedical, lab-based, and indigenous approaches to research. Isaac is currently leading projects and collaborating with researchers in a variety of fields including exercise physiology, Māori health, epigenetics, and men’s health. His most recent publications have questioned whether ‘weight’ and ‘weight loss’ are appropriate ‘health’ measures for Māori, suggesting that outcome measures should better reflect cultural values.

Senior Research Fellow: Dr Lisa Chant

Dr Lisa Chant (Ngāti Whātua), Senior Research Fellow at Taupua Waiora Centre for Māori Health Research. For over a decade I've had the opportunity to be a mentor, tutor, lecturer, researcher and awhi tautoko (support person) with teams at the Universities of Auckland, Boston and AUT.  The academic fields I've been part of so far include: media and communications, Māori and indigenous studies, politics and public policy, population health, higher education, workforce development and employment, medical humanities, and community health. My current research is funded by the New Zealand Health Research Council through a Māori post-doctoral fellowship.  The study aims to develop new knowledge and capacity to remedy substance misuse in indigenous children under 13 years through a comparative study of indigenous-health-practitioner led community based solutions from New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the USA that focus on whānau rangatiratanga/family self-determination.  My recent research has included: Supporting Māori Doctoral students and supervisors; Whanau Ora: hauora Māori models for kotahitanga (co-operative co-existence) with non-Maori; media discourses on indigeneity; Stigma/discrimination of Maori youth with mental health/solvent abuse problems.  My mahi with hauora Māori organisations, kaimahi and whanau since the 1990s has been whanau ora and kaupapa Māori based.

Research Fellow: Dr Huhana Hickey

Dr Huhana Hickey (Ngāti Tahinga, Tainui, Ngai Tai) is a research fellow in Taupua Waiora Centre for Māori Health Research at AUT University. Huhana has a long standing interest in the human rights of people from marginal backgrounds and the consequences of discrimination and social oppression. She is a scholar of disabilities research and legal theory and is noted for the breadth of her published cross-disciplinary research. Her work with the United Nations Adhoc group prior to the signing of the UNCRPD has led to indigenous people with disabilities being included within the preamble of the convention in that one of Huhana goal's is to increase the knowledge of indigenous peoples with disabilities along with increasing their profile and inclusion in all levels of society. Huhana currently sits on the NZ human rights review tribunal as well as the UNITEC ethics committee and is the Chair of the Auckland Council Disability Strategic Advisory Panel.

Research Fellow: Dr Alayne Hall

Dr Alayne Hall is of Ngāti Whatua, Te Rarawa, Tainui and Pākehā decent. Alayne is a Registered Psychotherapist, a member of the New Zealand Association of Psychotherapist (NZAP) and a founding member of Waka Oranga – National Collective of Māori Psychotherapy Practitioners (NCMPP). Alayne has worked across a wide range of community services over the past 20 years to include Māori Mental Health Child and Adolescent Services, and private practice. Alayne undertakes research and works with whānau, adults, children and adolescents with a number of issues to include whānau violence, complex trauma and intergenerational trauma. Alayne has an interest in developing evidence based Māori and Indigenous therapeutic interventions. Alayne is a past recipient of a Health Research Council of New Zealand Māori Doctoral Scholarship, Ministry of Health Hauora Māori Scholarships, Rosemary Seymour Research & Archives Award, Women’s Studies Association (NZ) and Ngāti Whatua, Waikato-Tainui and NZAP Education Grants. Alayne is the current co-editor of Ata: Journal of Psychotherapy Aotearoa New Zealand and is interested in Post-Doctoral research that utilises approaches in Māori health to develop theories concerning complex trauma from a Māori perspective.

Biostatistician: Nick Garrett

Nick joined the Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences early in 2003.  He has worked as the senior biostatistician (1994-2003) at one of the Crown Research Institutes (ESR) on communicable disease surveillance and epidemiology, occupational health, environmental health, and forensics research. He has extensive training and experience in statistical consulting. This has involved assisting in development of a wide range of health research projects, in particular with: study design, sample size, questionnaire design, collection of data, managing data, analysis of data, interpretation and presentation of data and statistical results.
His research areas include Maori Health, Gambling, Tobacco, Family violence, Health access and equalities, Pacific health and Environmental health.

Senior Lecturer: Dr Heather Came-Friar

Dr Heather Came-Friar is a seventh generation Pākehā New Zealander who grew up on Ngātiwai land. She has worked for nearly 25 years in health promotion, public health and/or Māori health and has a long involvement in social justice activism in Aotearoa New Zealand. Heather is a founding member and co-chair of STIR: Stop Institutional Racism, a fellow of the Health Promotion Forum, longstanding member of  Public Health Association and an active member of Tāmaki Tiriti Workers. She currently embraces life as an activist scholar. She was lead author of Te Tiriti-based practice in health promotion (2017) and has led shadow reports to various United Nations human rights committees around institutional racism. She is a Senior Lecturer based in the Taupua Waiora Māori Health Research Centre within Auckland University of Technology.