Professor of Māori Health
Director of the Taupua Waiora Centre for Māori Health Research
School of Public Health and Psychosocial Studies
Professor Denise Wilson, of Ngāti Tahinga (Tainui) descent, is passionate about effecting positive change in the areas of Māori and indigenous health, family violence, cultural safety, and cultural responsiveness – through research, education and policy action.
A registered nurse, Professor Wilson's career has seen her amass extensive experience in nursing education, at both a practice and policy level. Her decision to move into Māori health was brought about by a combination of her concern for New Zealand’s Māori health landscape and how Māori are framed within the health system, and the opportunity to use her knowledge and skills to prompt people to make a difference.
Her appointment to a ministerial taskforce for nursing opened her eyes to the role politics plays in the formation of health policy, and gave her the opportunity to see how important it is to advocate for Māori on health matters.
Professor Wilson has been involved at a national level in the development of the Ministry of Health’s Violence Intervention Programme. She is currently a member of the Health Quality and Safety Commission’s Family Violence Death Review Committee and Roopū Māori, the Children Action Plan’s Workforce Advisory Group, and is a co-author of The People’s Report and The People’s Blueprint for the Glenn Inquiry into child abuse and domestic violence.
Professor Wilson's international accolades include the 2007 Award for Excellence in Education from the Nursing Network on Violence Against Women International, and the Futures Without Violence 16 Days of Activism Award 2011. She was also invited to the US Institute of Medicine’s Global Forum in 2011, to talk about addressing violence against women.
She defines success as making a difference in healthcare practices and how people respond to Māori, and contributing to people affected by family violence seeking assistance with their health and wellbeing.