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Marie Nixon

Doctor of Philosophy, (Maori Studies)
Study Completed: 2009
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
Are the past strategies from inherited knowledge relevant to prevent contemporary chronic non-communicable lifestyle diseases?

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Marie Benton (Nixon) brings together science, history and the values derived from lore and tikanga to address a significant health issue for contemporary Maori. Working at the interface of customary and contemporary knowledge she has synthesised knowledge bases from two perspectives. A theoretical health intervention aimed to improve Maori hauora participation was designed through the combination of both scientific and Tainuitanga viewpoints. .The staple long finned eel diet containing the essential fatty acid omega-3 was presented as a metaphor for ‘Hauora’ - optimal Maori health and wellbeing. Type II diabetes mellitus was offered as a story given its occurrence among Maori subsequent to urban migration. A ten year study of Waikato hapu supported the research finding that regular consumption of the long finned eel and holistic practice through established lifestyle choices is associated with the prevention of Type II diabetes.

Professor Chris Cunningham
Dr Adreanne Ormond
Professor Mason Durie

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