Māori Patient Views

Talking About Māori Health

Tim McCreanor, Fiona Cram, Linda Smith, Wayne Johnstone & Ray Nairn

Funded by: The Health Research Council of New Zealand

Timeframe: 1996-1999

Project Overview

The primary aim of this research project was to investigate and describe the discourses on Māori health of two groups of informants – Māori patients and Pākehā (non-Māori) general practitioners (GPs). A major feature of the research was the parallel investigations undertaken by Māori and Pākehā teams of researchers. Linda Smith, Wayne Johnstone and Fiona Cram worked with Māori patients, while Ray Nairn and Tim McCreanor worked with Pākehā GPs. This arrangement, while addressing only the broad category of ethnicity in terms of matching researchers with participants, was our attempt to ensure that the research was culturally appropriate and sensitive for all participants; a commitment that continued throughout the stages of analysis, description, comparison and dissemination of findings.

A secondary aim of this research was the identification of inter-relationships, overlaps, and divergences among the themes that emerged for Māori patients and Pākehā GPs. In the process we identified common themes as well as the culturally specific material in Māori and Pākehā representations of Māori health. We also pinpointed gaps in knowledge and/or misconceptions about Māori health that restricted the delivery of primary health care services by Pākehā to Māori. Together the analyses yielded practical and theoretical insights that could facilitate positive changes for Māori health status.


Cram, F., McCreanor, T., Smith, L., Nairn, R. & Johnstone, W. (2006). Kaupapa Māori research and Pākehā social science: Epistemological tensions in a study of Māori health. Hūlili, 3, 41-68.

Cram, F. & Smith, L. (2004). Māori women talk about accessing health care. He Pukenga Kōrero, 7(2), Raumati (Summer), 1-8.

Cram, F., Smith, L. & Johnstone, W. (1998). Māori patient - Pākehā general practitioner interaction. Paper presented at the Te Oru Rangahau Māori Research and Development Conference, Massey University, Palmerston North, 7-9 July 1998. Published in Te Pūmanawa Hauora (Eds.), Te Oru Rangahau Māori Research Conference. Palmerston North: Massey University. Download below

Cram, F., Smith, L. & Johnstone, W. (2003). Mapping the themes of Māori talk about health. New Zealand Medical Journal, 116, 14 March 2003.

McCreanor, T & Nairn, R. (2002). Tauiwi general practitioners’ talk about Maori heatlh: interpretive repertoires. New Zealand Medical Journal, 115. Download below

McCreanor, T. & Nairn R. (2002) Tauiwi general practitioners explanations of Maori health: Colonial relations in primary healthcare in Aotearoa/New Zealand? Journal of Health Psychology, 7, 509-518.

Unpublished Reports

Cram, F., Smith, L. & Johnstone, W. (1999). Māori, health and Māori health - A qualitative study of urban Māori health discourse. Research Report, IRI, University of Auckland. Contact Katoa Ltd for this report.

Fiona Cram,
17 Aug 2018, 23:22