The whenua, historical trauma and health outcomes project

He Kokonga Whare

This is an exciting national research project. The programme is exploring the impacts of historical intergenerational trauma and how Māori heal from trauma that is passed through the generations. We expect to gather a range of healing narratives and to identify coping strategies that contribute to the good health of Māori communities. We then want to develop health strategies that would assist Māori communities.

Why do it?

Māori have long known that the impacts of mass cultural, language and land loss has a direct connection to increased rates of impoverishment, mental health outcomes, imprisonment, suicide and violence through subsequent generations. These outcomes have an impact on the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing of individuals, whanau, hapu and iwi. Over time, Māori have shown incredible strengths in dealing with these various challenges and have developed coping strategies and wellbeing plans and have healed. He Kokonga Whare will focus on good health and healing from intergenerational trauma.

What is the ‘Whenua Project’?

Māori worldview places land at the very heart of human well-being and identity, as an essential source of spiritual, emotional, life-giving energies and an inter-generational repository of well-being. The Whenua, Historical Trauma and Health Outcomes Project is one of four within the He Kokonga Whare Programme. Hosted by Te Rūnanga O Ngāi Tahu and led by Dr. John Reid, it aims to conceptualise and determine the historical trauma of land loss and to find culturally relevant solutions to effectively support Māori health and social wellbeing, as well as broader development aspirations.


The Ngāi Tahu Research Centre at Canterbury University


Dr John Reid

Lead organisation

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu

Partners & Collaborators

He Kokonga Whare: Maori Intergenerational Trauma and Healing programme is led by Dr Cherryl Smith, from Te Atawhai o Te Ao – the Independent Māori Institute of Health in Whanganui


Health Research Council

Further Information

Te Atawhai O Te Ao