Ms Erena Wikaire

Master of Public Health - First class honours, PGDip Public Health (Māori Health) with distinction, BHSc (Physiotherapy)


Ko Ngāpuhi te iwi, ko Ngāti Hine te hapū, ko Mōtatau te marae, ko Hikurangi te Maunga, ko Taumarere te awa, ko Hineāmaru te tupuna. I am a Māori Health Researcher at Tōmaiora Māori Health Research Centre, Te Kupenga Hauora Māori (Department of Māori Health), University of Auckland. My previous research has included: Māori and Indigenous health and disability workforce development, cultural competence, mental health and cancer in Māori and Indigenous populations. I recently completed a Masters in Public Health entitled "Data Speaks: Predictors of success in tertiary education health study for Māori and Pacific students". I am currently completing a PhD in Public Health (Māori Health) investigating Māori participation in traditional Māori health practices (rongoā). Ongoing research interests include Māori health workforce development, traditional Māori health (rongoā), and addressing ethnic inequalities in health.

Research | Current

2016 - 2018 - PhD - Māori participation in traditional Māori health practices (rongoā)

Research supervisors:   Dr Matire HarwoodAssoc. Prof. Leonie Pihama 

This Kaupapa Maori research project aims to identify factors that influence Maori participation in traditional Maori health practices through focus groups, wananga and iwi data analysis. The research will develop distinctly Maori innovative resources that capture and enhance the creative potential of rongoa Maori. A sustainable and innovative rongoa Maori model will also be developed.The research findings will inform evidence-based policy and interventions to contribute to the development of traditional Maori health practices that are sustainable and meet current and future needs, and thereby improve Maori health outcomes.

2014 - 2015 - Total Cohort Analysis (TCA) - Exploring predictors of academic success for Māori and Pacific students within the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences. 

Research supervisors: Dr Elana Curtis, Dr Donna Cormack

This study explored how pre-tertiary, admission and early academic factors impact on academic success within tertiary health study. This Kaupapa Māori research project analysed data for 2686 Health Sciences, Pharmacy and Nursing students at the University of Auckland (2002 – 2012). Multiple regression analysis explored the predictive effect of admission variables such as school decile,  type of admission, and bridging foundation programme participation on academic outcomes (e.g. GPA, graduated yes/no) for Māori, Pacific and non-Māori non-Pacific student ethnic groupings. Māori and Pacific students experienced increased and unique barriers to academic success when compared with non-Māori non-Pacific students. Clear disparities in academic outcomes between Māori and Pacific, and non-Māori non-Pacific student groupings were not fully explained when adjusting for predictor variables. This project adds detailed quantitative information for Māori, Pacific and non-Māori non-Pacific health professional students not previously available. 




Erena currently works part-time as a research assistant to Tumuaki and HOD Māori Health Assoc. Prof. Papaarangi Reid and Dr Matire Harwood.

Areas of expertise


  • Rongoā Māori
  • Maori and Indigenous health
  • Kaupapa Māori theory and research
  • Public Health
  • Health Equity
  • Health Workforce Development
  • Physiotherapy


  • Quantitative methods
  • Qualitative methods
  • Referencing (Endnote)


Committees/Professional groups/Services

2016 - School of Population Health MPH review committee, University of Auckland

2015 - 2018 - Health Research Council (HRC) Scientific assessing committee

2013 - current - Ngāti Whātua Orākei Rongoā Sterring Committee, Whai Maia Ltd

2011 - current - Tōmaiora Māori Health Research Unit new and emerging researcher group

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

Contact details

Office hours

Tuesdays 8.30am - 4.30pm

Contactable via email on other weekdays

Primary office location

TAMAKI BUILDING 730 - Bldg 730
New Zealand

Social links

Web links