Dr Jemaima Sipaea Tiatia-Seath

PhD, DPH, MA (Hons), BA

Profile Image
HOS - Te W?nanga o Waipapa


Jemaima Tiatia-Seath is the Co-Head of School, Te Wānanga o Waipapa, School of Māori Studies and Pacific Studies, University of Auckland. She is of Samoan descent and has a public/community health background. She was one of six panellists on the New Zealand Government’s 2018 Mental Health and Addiction Inquiry. Her research interests include: Pacific Studies, mental health and wellbeing, suicide prevention and postvention, health inequities, climate change and youth development.

Research | Current

  • Principal investigator - for Health Research Council of NZ (HRC) funded - 'Climate Change and Mental Wellbeing: The Impacts on Pacific Peoples’ (2019).
  • Principal investigator - Pacific Health Research Knowledge Translation project, HRC funded - 'Heilala Malu – Tongan Framework for Suicide Prevention Resource’ (2017).
  • Principal investigator for Te Ra o Te Waka Hourua funded - 'Pacific Suicide Postvention Guidelines' with Hibiscus Research Ltd (2017).
  • Principal investigator for Te Ra o Te Waka Hourua funded - 'Suicide Postvention: Support for Pacific Communities' with Hibiscus Research Ltd (2016) http://hdl.handle.net/2292/32391
  • Co-investigator - The University of Auckland Adolescent Health Research Group https://www.fmhs.auckland.ac.nz/en/faculty/adolescent-health-research-group.html
  • Principal investigator - HRC and Ministry of Health Pacific Partnership Programme funded project - ‘Suicide Prevention for Tongan Youth in New Zealand' (2015).
  • Postdoctoral Pacific Health Research Fellowship HRC funded - 'Suicide and Samoans: The Journey Towards Prevention’ (2014).
  • HRC Pacific Health PhD Research Award - ‘Reasons to Live: NZ-born Samoan Young People's Responses to Suicidal Behaviours’ (2003).
  • Principal investigator - HRC Project Grant - ‘Pacific Youth Emergency Department Suicide Study’ (2000).  

Teaching | Current

PACIFIC 100/G Introduction to Pacific Studies

PACIFIC 206 Pacific Youth: Contemporary Realities in the Pacific Region

PACIFIC 306 Pacific Youth: Contemporary Realities in the Pacific Region

PACIFIC 711 Intervention, Prevention and Promotion of Pacific Wellbeing

PACIFIC 714 Pacific Research Methodologies and Practices

Postgraduate supervision

PhD in progress

2019: Sarah McLean-Orsborn - Depression in young Samoan females. Pacific Studies, University of Auckland

2019: Veisinia Pulu-Lakai - Co-designing a community-based intervention programme for prediabetes​. Pacific Health, Massey University (with Dr Ridvan Firestone and Prof. Barry Borman)

2017: Caleb Marsters - Run it straight! - Pasifika men, mental wellbeing and elite sports, Pacific Studies, University of Auckland

2016: Therese Kiely - Pacific young women’s images of God and mental wellbeing (with Caroline Blyth). Theology,  University of Auckland

2015: Eliza Puna - Cook Islands youth: Positive mental health wellbeing and suicide prevention. Pacific Studies, University of Auckland


Masters in progress


Masters completed

2020: Pauline Rupeni - Akaupokotuanga i te Reo Māori: Learnings from Cook Islands communities and their youth (with Marcia Leenen-Young). Master of Arts, Pacific Studies, University of Auckland

2019: Sarah McLean - Depression in young Samoan females: The views of mental health service providers, Master of Arts, Pacific Studies, University of Auckland

2018: Joanna Minster -  Cultural resilience and mental wellbeing among multi-ethnic Cook Islands young adults. Master of Public Health, School of Population Health, University of Auckland

2018: Sonia Pope - Exploring the intergenerational views of wellbeing among Tongan women (with Tanya Samu). Master of Arts, Education, University of Auckland

2018: Rose Palmer -  Factors that foster positive mental health status in unpaid at-home caregivers for the elderly in New Zealand (with Ngaire Kerse). Dissertation for Master of Public Health, School of Population Health, University of Auckland

2018: Sili Pita - Navigating the historical context of incest in Samoa: 1900’s–2000s (with Damon Salesa). Master of Arts, Pacific Studies, University of Auckland

2017: Caleb Marsters - Young Pacific male athletes and positive mental health wellbeing. Master of Public Health, Pacific Health, University of Auckland

2016: Tony Patolo - Exploring young Pacific tertiary students’ views and experiences of bullying. Master of Arts, Pacific Studies, University of Auckland

2016: Desiree Chan Chui - Violence against women in Samoa: 1970s-1990s (with Damon Salesa). Master of Arts, Pacific Studies, University of Auckland

2015: Cecelia Faumuina Khaka - Malanga: The voice of positive dissonance. Master of Philosophy - Art and Design, AUT (with Dr Webley Ings and David Sinfield)

2013: Eliza Puna - New Zealand born Cook Islands youth views towards positive mental wellbeing and suicide prevention. Master of Public Health, University of Auckland

Areas of expertise

  • Suicide prevention and postvention
  • Pacific health and wellbeing 
  • Mental health 
  • Pacific Studies
  • Youth development 
  • Pacific cultural competencies
  • Injury prevention

Committees/Professional groups/Services

2018: Government Appointment to the Mental Health and Addiction Inquiry

2016-current: Appointment to the Health Research Council Public Health Research Committee

2017-2018: Member of the New Zealand Rugby League NZ Wellbeing Committee

2014-2017: Ministerial Appointment to the Health Quality & Safety Commission’s New Zealand Suicide Mortality Review Committee

2016-2017: Appointed to Unitec’s Standing Committee, Fono Faufautua Council 

2016-2017: Committee member of the Health Promotion Agency's National Depression Initiative Advisory Group 

2014-2018: Committee member of the Mental Health Foundation's Suicide Bereavement Advisory 

2014-current: Member of Ara Taiohi: For People Working with Young People

2014-current: Member of the International Association for Suicide Prevention

2012-2014: Member of the World Association of Cultural Psychiatry


Reviewer for:

Pacific Health Dialog

Journal of Indigenous Wellbeing: Te Mauri - Pimatisiwin

New Zealand Medical Journal

BWB Books

Kotuitui: NZ Journal of Social Sciences 

Journal of Pacific Rim Psychology

Pacific Health Review

International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare

Journal of Primary Health Care



Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Tiatia-Seath, J., Lay-Yee, R., & von Randow, M. (2019). Supporting the bereavement needs of Pacific communities in New Zealand following a suicide: A survey of service providers. Suicidology Online, 10, 1-8. Related URL.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Roy Lay-Yee
  • Marsters, C., & Tiatia-Seath, J. (2019). Young Pacific Male Rugby Players’ Perceptions and Experiences of Mental Wellbeing. Sports, 7 (4), 1-19. 10.3390/sports7040083
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Caleb Marsters
  • Clark, T. C., Le Grice, J., Moselen, E., Fleming, T., Crengle, S., Tiatia-Seath, J., & Lewycka, S. (2018). Health and wellbeing of Māori secondary school students in New Zealand: Trends between 2001, 2007 and 2012. Australian and New Zealand journal of public health, 42 (6), 553-561. 10.1111/1753-6405.12839
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Terryann Clark, Jade Le Grice
  • Patterson, R., Durie, M., Disley, B., Tiatia-Seath, J., & Tualamali'i. J (2018). He Ara Oranga: Report of the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction. Wellington, New Zealand: Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction. Related URL.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Ron Paterson
  • Tiatia-Seath, J., Underhill-Sem, Y., & Woodward, A. (2018). The nexus between climate change, mental health and wellbeing and Pacific peoples. Pacific Health Dialog, 21 (2), 47-49. 10.26635/phd.2018.911
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/45867
  • Tiatia-Seath, J. (2018). Damon Salesa, Island time: New Zealand’s Pacific futures [Book review]. AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples10.1177/1177180118767434
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/42443
  • Thabrew, H., Gandeza, E., Bahr, G., Bettany, D., Bampton, C., Cooney, E., ... Tiatia-Seath, J. (2018). The management of young people who self-harm by New Zealand Infant, child and adolescent mental health services: cutting-edge or cutting corners?. Australasian Psychiatry10.1177/1039856217748248
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/40620
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Hiran Thabrew
  • Tiatia-Seath, J. (2018). The importance of Pacific cultural competency in healthcare. Pacific Health Dialog, 21 (1), 8-9. 10.26635/phd.2018.909
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/40804


Contact details

Office hours

By appointment

Primary office location

Level 1, Room 103B
New Zealand

Social links

Web links