Research / Culturally centred health interventions for Māori and Pacific peoples

He Pikinga Waiora

Making health interventions work for Māori communities

illustration of community-centred health
Project Status: Completed Funding: $1,430,000 Timeframe: April 2016 – June 2019


What we investigated

He Pikinga Waiora Logo

Take | Issue

Inequity is a problem in today’s health system. Some communities – notably Māori and Pacific peoples – have less access to health care and worse health outcomes than others in Aotearoa.

Whāinga | Aim

This project aimed to reduce inequitable health outcomes associated with non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity by finding better ways of creating, implementing and evaluating effective health interventions for Indigenous communities.

Huarahi I Whāia | Approach

The project team researched and developed the He Pikinga Waiora Implementation Framework as a tool for funders, health services and community organisations to plan, implement and assess health interventions.  The Framework is centred on kaupapa Māori (Indigenous knowledge, methods and philosophy) and integrates best practice from international research, particularly emphasising community engagement through participatory co-design approaches.

The project team used the Framework to co-design and evaluate two separate community-based health interventions aimed at improving the prevention and management of diabetes.


Outcomes and Impact

Putanga | Outcome

The He Pikinga Waiora Implementation Framework was widely disseminated, and successfully used to guide the efforts of the National Bowel Screening Advisory Group and the 2016-18 Waitemata District Health Board Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening Pilot.  It was also adopted by several research projects working with Indigenous communities in Aotearoa and other countries.

The project team used the Framework to co-design two health interventions with community partners:

      • Kimi Ora – a 10-week programme for people with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes and their whānau, run by Te Kōhao Health
      • Poutiri Health Challenge – a 12-week lifestyle intervention to address pre-diabetes and related conditions for men and their whanau, run by the Poutiri Charitable Trust.

Both interventions achieved very high retention rates and significant improvements in clinical health indicators, and both have been funded by healthcare providers to continue beyond the research phase.

The high level of community engagement through the co-design process was a crucial factor in the success of both interventions.

As well as improving health, the research led to greater understanding of how to harness community involvement so that interventions and treatment programmes are more readily adopted and sustainable beyond the research phase.

Te Ara Kei Mua | Next Steps

The He Pikinga Waiora Framework is an effective tool for meaningful engagement with community health members and organisations. It provides those involved in planning and funding health services with a means to address health equity issues, and design more effective and sustainable interventions.

Health planners and funders are welcome to contact the research leaders for more details about how to use the Framework.

Nga Hua O Te Rangahau | Research Products

View the website for this project


Knowledge Exchange

Puka Rangahau | Academic Publications






Kōnae Whakaata | Video

He pikinga Waiora

Research Findings Brief

He Pikinga Waiora aimed to reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity by finding an effective way of creating, implementing and evaluating health interventions for Indigenous communities.

Project Team

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