Hannah Rapata (Ngāi Tahu) is using her Master of Health Sciences in Nutrition and Dietetics to help improve equity for Māori health outcomes.
“Māori health outcomes and equity are major concerns for me, having had a number of my whānau members live with and die from chronic diseases”
"I knew that nutrition plays a big part in these issues and that I wanted to help improve nutrition-related health outcomes within my whānau and community.
This qualification and becoming a registered dietitian will open up opportunities for me and provide me with the skills that I would need to give back to my whānau and community.
“My thesis project involves conducting a qualitative study with a kaupapa Māori approach to understanding Māori first foods and complementary feeding practices in Māori whānau in Auckland. My thesis project is part of a larger study called the NZ First Foods Study, which is a collaborative study with Otago and Massey University which aims to inform updates to the Ministry of Health Food and Nutrition Guidelines.
“I feel very privileged to be a student in the dietetics program and to have had the support of the Discipline of Nutrition to attend various Indigenous nutrition conferences in Aotearoa and overseas and therefore fit my interests around my studies.”