Kiana Young-Whenuaroa | McCall MacBain Foundation Leadership Scholar

Kiana Young-Whenuaroa (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngā Rauru)

Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours)

Health inequities continue to burden Māori due to vast colonial, structural and social determinants. Despite efforts to support Māori health advancement, many initiatives do not target the upstream root causes that create and maintain the overrepresentation of tangata whenua in negative health statistics.

The current state of Māori health and the provision, access and quality of health services shaped my aspirations of advocating and creating a better health system for my people. I am passionate about supporting Māori to achieve their full health potential and increasing access to equitable, culturally competent, holistic health services.

Through my research, I aim to promote the incorporation of Matauranga Māori and Kaupapa Māori research and models into health research and evidence. Through my career, I endeavour to contribute to achieving health equity and decolonisation of the health system by shifting dominant Western paradigms and increasing awareness and use of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. 

Sponsor: McCall MacBain Foundation

Mentor: Dr Emma Espiner (Ngāti TukoreheNgāti Porou), is a doctor at Middlemore Hospital, and an award-winning writer and podcast host. Emma’s writing features at The Guardian, Newsroom, Stuff, The Spinoff and in academic and literary journals. She has a background in politics, communications and media. Emma holds a BA from Otago, a Grad Dip in Arts from Massey, and a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery from the University of Auckland. Emma has been a New Zealand broadcaster and political commentator and in 2020 won Opinion Writer of the Year at the Voyager Media Awards. She hosted Getting Better a Radio New Zealand podcast about Māori health equity.