Dianne Wepa

Dianne Wepa

Programme Director, Bachelor of Community Health, University of South Australia, Adelaide
Doctor of Philosophy

Ngāti Kahungunu

Her personal insights into the interactions between her whānau and healthcare services motivated her PhD research, says Dr Dianne Wepa who completed her PhD in Māori health in 2016.

“My research was driven by my whānau experiences of negative engagement with healthcare services, which ultimately led to many of them dying before their time.

“I wanted to see if other Māori whānau had the same experiences, and was interested in how the interaction between Māori whānau and healthcare services could be improved.”

Academic excellence
Dianne was already a respected author, lecturer and speaker when she decided to pursue a doctoral degree in health science. Her books Cultural Safety in Aotearoa New Zealand and Clinical Supervision in Aotearoa New Zealand have become required texts for nursing and midwifery in New Zealand.

She was attracted to AUT by the quality of the supervision, says Dianne whose research was supervised by Professor Denise Wilson.

“AUT has very supportive staff and world-class supervisors. If you’re considering doctoral study, my advice would be to find a supervisor you admire and ask them to supervise you. I decided to study at AUT because my supervisors worked there.”

Opportunities to connect
She valued having the opportunity to connect with fellow students on a regular basis, Dianne says.

“The Grounded Theory tutorial group that met once a month was a highlight. As I lived in Hawke’s Bay, I had to travel to see my supervisor, so meeting with like-minded students about my method helped me immensely.”

She also appreciated the support she received throughout her studies.

“One of the biggest challenges for me was having to travel from Hastings each month for tutorials and meetings with my supervisor. Fortunately, I received a research grant, which helped with this expense. I would certainly recommend studying at AUT as it offers the best academic support for someone like myself.”

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