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Takatāpui health and wellbeing

Honour Project Aotearoa was funded from the Rangahau Hauora Investment Stream, Health Research Council of Aotearoa. It was a 3-year research project that started in July 2016 and concluded in June 2019.

Aim of the Research

The research aim was to investigate and identify life experiences of takataapui and to gain insights into the ways in which those experiences impacted on achieving health and wellbeing, including better access to and improved provision of a range of health services. Additionally, the project aimed to give voice to takataapui expressions, experiences and aspirations for health and wellbeing, thereby reinforcing takataapui belonging – in whānau, hapū, iwi, and for future generations.

Community Collaboration

The project was a collaboration between Te Kotahi Research Institute, University of Waikato, and Te Whāriki Takapou, with support from takataapui organisations and networks across Aotearoa New Zealand. The project is inspired by the ground-breaking ‘Honor Project’ led by Professor Karina Walters of the Indigenous Wellness Research Institute at the University of Washington which explored wellbeing within Native American Two-Spirit communities. Honour Project Aotearoa will investigate understandings within the takataapui community in Aotearoa New Zealand and consider the impact of colonialism, resistance and reclamations across takataapui and Native American two-spirit Native American communities.

Kaupapa Māori Methodology

The research adopts a Kaupapa Māori mixed-methods approach. Qualitative methods include interviews conducted using pūrākau and digital storytelling approaches. The primary quantitative method is a survey questionnaire with a sample size of 500, the results of which will be cross analysed against interview data. The findings of the research will give health policy-makers, health practitioners and health services a deeper understanding of the intersection of culture, gender and sexual identities and implications for the health and wellbeing of takataapui within whānau, hapū, iwi and wider Māori society.