Current Projects

Affordable Homes for Generations

Funded by the Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities National Science Challenge, 2020-2024

This programme of research, co-led by Dr Kay Saville-Smith and Dr Fiona Cram, recognises New Zealand’s severe undersupply of functional, affordable housing and the consequent problems of homelessness and exclusion, the drag imposed on communities and local economies, and the environmental and resilience risks presented by the persistent undersupply of affordable housing.

In the Māori research we are interested in housing issues for key workers and for young Māori whānau, the impact of repairs and maintenance on making a house a home for whānau, and what supports Māori to build on their own land.


Cram, F. (2020). Mahi aroha: Aroha ki te tangata, he tangata. MAI Journal, 9(4), 3-6. doi: 10.20507/MAIJournal.2020.9.4.1

Cram, F. (2021). Mahi Aroha: Māori work in times of trouble and disaster as an expression of a love for the people. Kōtuitui: New Zealand Journal of Social Sciences Online. doi: 10.1080/1177083X.2021.187919181.

Cram, F., Cram, S., Munro, M. & Tawhai, S. (2021). Awhi mai, awhi atu: Giving and receiving support during the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown. Report for Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities, Affordable Housing for Generations, June 2021, Wellington: BBHTC.

Whānau Manaaki

Protecting maternal wellbeing - hapū ora

Funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand, 2016-2020. This project is being led by Dr Beverley Lawton, alongside Dr Stacie Gellar, Dr Fiona Cram and Dr Liza Edmonds.

Whānau Manaaki is a Kaupapa Māori research programme that builds on our joint work and research findings to address Māori maternal-child health disparities. It puts the woman and her whānau at the centre and explores the health care delivery system and structural determinants of health (e.g. housing, racism, transport, income, education) that impact on the health and well being of Māori women and their babies. This will enable us to understand what needs ‘fixing’ to improve well-being for Māori whānau.


Adcock, A., Storey, F., Lawton, B., Bennett, M., Lambert, C., Edmonds, L., Stevenson, K., Geller, S. & Cram, F. (2019). He Korowai Manaaki: mapping assets to inform a strength-based, Indigenous-led wrap-around maternity pathway. Australian Journal of Primary Care - Published online: 21 October 2019.

Lawton, B., Storey, F., Sibanda, N., Bennett, M., Lambert, C., Geller, S., Edmonds, L., & Cram, F. (2021). He Korowai Manaaki (Pregnancy Wraparound Care): Protocol for a cluster randomized clinical trial. JMIR Research Protocol, 10(1):e18154 doi: 10.2196/18154 PMID: 33512321

He tapu te whare tangata

Exploration of the cervical screening clinical pathway following offer of HPV self-test

Ministry of Health and Health Research Council of New Zealand project grants to the Centre for Women's Health Research, University of Victoria, Wellington, 2017-2020

Even though cervical cancer is preventable, our current screening programme is failing Māori women. There are unacceptable disparities experienced by Māori women, from access to screening to mortality. Māori women are twice as likely to die from cervical cancer than non- Māori women.

Our project - He Tapu Te Whare Tangata - aims to increase cervical screening coverage through HPV self-testing, delivered through community-based health practices. We will use technology that screens women for infection with the types of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) that cause cervical cancer. The project is Māori led and Māori centred. It will improve the detection of pre-cancerous lesions in Māori women and aims ultimately to reduce the unnecessary inequity in mortality from a preventable cancer that disproportionately affects Māori women. If successful, it will inform the National Screening Unit policy on the rollout of HPV screening.


Adcock, A., Cram, F., Lawton, B., Geller, S., Hibma, M., Sykes, P., MacDonald, E. J., Dallas‐Katoa, W., Rendell, B., Cornell, T., Mataki, T., Rangiwhetu, T., Gifkins, N. and Hart, S. (2019), Acceptability of self‐taken vaginal HPV sample for cervical screening among an under‐screened Indigenous population. Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol, 59, 301–307. doi:10.1111/ajo.12933

MacDonald, E.J., Geller, S., Sibanda, N., Stevenson, K., Denmead, L., Adcock, A., Cram, F., Hibma, M., Sykes, P. & Lawton, B. (2020). Reaching under-screened/never-screened indigenous peoples with human papilloma virus self-testing: A community-based cluster randomised controlled trial. Aust NZ J Obstet Gynaecol. DOI: 10.1111/ajo.13285

Lawton, B., Heffernan, M., Wurtak, G., Steben, M., Lhaki, P., Cram, F., Blas, M., Hibma, M., Adcock, A., Stevenson, K., Whop, L., Brotherton, J. & Garland, S.M. (2020). IPVS Policy Statement addressing the burden of HPV disease for Indigenous peoples. Papillomavirus Research, 9, 100191.

Ngā Tau Tuangahuru

Māori and Pacific Education Initiative 10-year longitudinal evaluation

Funded by Foundation North

The Māori and Pacific Education Initiative (MPEI) was Foundation North's (previously the ASB Community Trust) flagship investment in community-based programmes and services to improve educational outcomes for Māori and Pacific children and young people. This longitudinal study explores what happens to these students in the longer term, after they have stayed with an initiative for some time or moved on to other educational or employment opportunities. We ask whether the gains achieved by students will have a long-lasting impact upon their lives and the lives of those around them. The study is a collaborative endeavour with five of the MPEI initiatives - asking questions that are important to them, and building the capacity of community researchers through their involvement with the study.


Cram, F., Samu, T., Theodore, R. & Trotman, R. (2020). Māori whānau talk about whānau success: Findings from Round 1 of Ngā Tau Tuangahuru—the Māori and Pacific Education Initiative (MPEI) longitudinal study. Evaluation Matters—He Take Tō Te Aromatawai, 6, first-on-line.

Trotman, R., Cram, F., Samu, T., Becroft, M., Theodore, R., Trinick, T. with Pt England Primary School, Manaiakalani, Sylvia Park School, Rise UP Trust, He Puna Marama Trust, Oceania Careers Academy & High Tech Youth (2018). Investing in ‘success’ as Māori and Pacific: The collaborative development of Ngā Tau Tuangahuru, a longitudinal study. Evaluation Matters - He Take Tō Te Aromatawai, 4, 87-100.