Pae Herenga Study

The Pae Herenga Research Study

Nau mai, haere mai – welcome, welcome.

Tēnā koutou katoa.  Nau mai, haere mai ki te pae tukutuku Te Ipu Aronui. My name is Tess Moeke-Maxwell and I am the Principal Investigator for the study, Pae Herenga. This study was called for by the Te Ārai Palliative Care and End of Life Research Group’s Kāhui Kaumātua Advisory Group.

A few years ago Matua Rawiri Wharemate approached me because he had been speaking to kaumātua and they were concerned that whānau, many whānau, had been unable to retain their care customs, through no fault of their own.  

We know what we’ve been through in Aotearoa – loss of lands, loss of language, and with that we also lose culture. Many of our tūpuna, our grandparents, have passed on as well. So those of us who have been called to provide care to a kaumātua (older person) at end of life, are really in need of information to help us.

We believe that our cultural customs really strengthen us to provide care to adults and kaumātua, and to everyone.

In the School of Nursing where I work at University of Auckland, our main objective in Te Ārai is to help bring healing and wellness and a sense of upliftment to kaumātua through their aging and end of life journey.

On this website we want to bring you information from the participants from the Pae Herenga study. We interviewed 61 whānau; these were people that had a life limiting illness, or they were whānau members who cared for them - we call them ‘whanau manaaki’ -  family caregivers. We interviewed rongoā practitioners, people who have expertise in spiritual care, and also Māori health professionals. We have 61 of these stories to draw on and 22 digital stories and that’s what’s informing the content on this website, Te Ipu Aronui. So come and fill up your kete. Have a look and see what’s in here for you. Add it to what’s already in your caregiving kete. We wish you all the best on your journey as you care for your kaumātua and your whānau. Kia ora!

In this section you will be introduced to the Pae Herenga research project, our research team and our study participants. Click on people’s names to learn more about them.

The Pae Herenga Research Study

Te Ārai Kāhui Kaumātua Advisory Group (Te Ārai Palliative Care and End of Life Research Group) called for the Pae Herenga study as they observed that many whānau no longer have access to their ancient tikanga (customs) and kawa (ceremonies) handed down from tūpuna (ancestors). These cultural customs are hugely beneficial for guiding and strengthening whānau to provide end of life care. The Te Ārai Kahui Kaumātua Advisory Group asked the Pae Herenga team to conduct a qualitative study using one-off face-to-face interviews with whānau, rongoā practitioners, tohunga practitioners and Māori health professionals. The aim was to gain an understanding of the traditional care customs whānau drew from (tikanga and kawa) at end of life. We also wanted to identify the things that health professionals did to help or hinder whānau to use their customs within different health care settings. We were granted funding from the Health Research Council of New Zealand (Rangahau Hauora Project Grant, 2017-2020) to conduct the Pae Herenga study and we also received ethical approval.

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