A Healthier Lives project leader has been honoured in the recent Matariki Awards.
Dr Matire Harwood was one of three finalists in the Te Tupu-ā-Rangi Award for Health and Science in the 2018 Matariki Awards. The category is for ‘healthcare and science experts dedicated to improving the physical and mental wellbeing of New Zealanders’.
Dr Harwood is the principal investigator for the Healthier Lives Mana Tū project, which aims to improve the impact of clinical and lifestyle interventions for whānau living with pre-diabetes, and people with poorly controlled diabetes. It’s a programme that has been co-designed with whānau, clinicians, health service planners, and whānau ora providers.
The Matariki Awards recognise and celebrate Māori achievement and honours those individuals and organisations whose passion, innovation and dedication is making a difference to our communities and our country. The awards are organised by Māori Television in partnership with Te Puni Kōkiri and Te Māngai Pāho.
Dr Harwood is a senior lecturer and director of Māori health research at the University of Auckland, and a GP at Papakura Marae. Her work has been widely published. She has a background in primary health care and rangahau hauora Māori, and has received several awards during her career, including the 2017 L’Oréal UNESCO For Women in Science Fellowship in recognition of her work addressing the inequities of health-related outcomes between indigenous and non-indigenous people.
Dr Harwood relishes the opportunity her work offers to improve the health of communities.
“The most exciting thing I do with my work is the difference I’m making in people’s lives”, she says. “Showing people, those who are the decision makers in hospitals and places like that, that Māori are leading the way when it comes to achieving health equity. I love that!”
* The Mana Tū research project is jointly funded by the Healthier Lives National Science Challenge, the Ministry of Health, and the Health Research Council of New Zealand (HRC) as part of the Long Term Conditions Partnership.
Matariki Awards 2018 – Dr Matire Harwood – Maori Television (video, 1m)