Erena Wikaire is awarded the Fulbright-Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga Graduate Award to conduct PhD research into models of Indigenous healing.
Fulbright New Zealand and Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga (NPM) are pleased to announce that Erena Wikaire (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Hine, Te Hikutu, Te Kapotai) is the recipient of the 2020 Fulbright-Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga Graduate Award.
Erena Wikaire from the Bay of Islands is a Kaupapa Māori Health Researcher. Her research areas include traditional Māori and Indigenous healing systems, Maori health workforce development, Māori health promotion, health equity, cultural competence, mental health, and cancer in Māori and Indigenous populations. In 2016 she graduated with a Masters in Public Health from the University of Auckland where she is now completing a PhD in Public Health (Māori Health), investigating Māori participation in traditional Māori health practices (Rongoā Māori).
Erena will undertake her Fulbright-Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga award at the John A. Burns School of Medicine at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa in Honolulu, where she will explore Native Hawaiian and other traditional Indigenous healing systems.
“I hope that exploring other Indigenous healing systems will offer new, old, innovative, and mutually beneficial learnings that can support Rongoā Māori and Māori healing in Aotearoa New Zealand. In terms of my research, I hope to continue to contribute to the development, revitalisation and renormalisation of Rongoā Māori.”
Erena says she was originally inspired to apply for a Fulbright award by her long-term mentor Dr Mihi Ratima who was awarded a Fulbright in 1999 and a Harkness Fellowship in 2006. In addition, she says, “I have been privileged to be mentored by outstanding Māori researchers such as Professor Papaarangi Reid and Associate Professors Matire Harwood, Leonie Pihama, Elana Curtis and Donna Cormack.”
“I am sure my Fulbright experience will bring many planned and unforeseen opportunities for learning, development and growth. I am humbled and honoured to receive the Fulbright-Ngā Pae ō Te Māramatanga award. Personally, I aim to take the opportunities that are presented to me, be they meeting new people, experiencing or visiting key sites. I certainly plan to dig deep and research and understand the realities of the Indigenous peoples of the US.”
When she returns to Aotearoa, Erena says, “My long-term career commitment is to Māori health, Māori and Indigenous health equity, and empowering Māori ways of knowing, being and doing. There are many changes occurring globally and the priorities of Māori and Indigenous peoples
change alongside the various challenges faced. In particular, I would like to contribute to the affirmation of Māori ways of understanding wellbeing, specifically Māori experiences and beliefs that are currently dismissed, denied, and misunderstood by non-Māori.”
NPM Co-Director and Fulbright alumna Professor Jacinta Ruru says, “We are all so thrilled for Erena. Her research is really important to us at Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, and her work in the field of traditional Māori health practices (Rongoā) seems especially timely right now. I have no doubt she will make the most of her time at the University of Hawai’i and I very much look forward to hearing more about her research findings in the future.”
As well as spending time in Hawai’i, Erena’s research will also take her to parts of Central America where she will continue her research into other traditional Indigenous healing systems.
About Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga
Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga (NPM), New Zealand’s Māori Centre of Research Excellence, is hosted at the University of Auckland comprising 21 research partners and conducting research of relevance to Māori communities.
Our vision is Māori leading New Zealand into the future. NPM research realises Māori aspirations for positive engagement in national life, enhances our excellence in Indigenous scholarship and provides solutions to major challenges facing humanity in local and global settings.
Media Contact: Mike Hennessy, Media and Communications Advisor, Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga
Phone: 021 666 462, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
About Fulbright New Zealand
Fulbright New Zealand opens doors for tomorrow’s leaders and thinkers through life-changing educational and cultural exchanges between New Zealand and the United States.
The Fulbright programme has been operating for over 70 years. Fulbright offers a range of prestigious awards for New Zealand and American graduate students, academics, artists and professionals to study, research and teach in each other’s countries. Fulbright New Zealand has granted more than 3,000 exchange awards, sending over 1,900 New Zealand graduate students, artists, academics, teachers and professionals on exchange to the US and welcoming over 1,570 Americans on exchanges to New Zealand.
Media Contact: Therese Lloyd, Senior Communications Advisor, Fulbright New Zealand
Phone: 04 494 1507, Email: email@example.com