Thursday March 22, 2018   Last updated 21:18PM

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Gang whanau offer research insights

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An academic who has been honoured for her work on Maori well being says her peers need to recognise marginalised communities are experts in their own condition and can think through their own solutions.

Tracey McIntosh, professor of indigenous studies at the University of Auckland, was this week given the Te Rangi Hiroa Medal for Social Sciences by the New Zealand Royal Society Te Aparangi.

Her work has included education and creative writing in prisons; research on the intergenerational transfer of social inequalities; and developing evidence-informed policy and advice.

She says working with marginal groups like gang whanau showed her the challenges of bringing a Maori lens to research.

"There needs to be the ceding of power. There needs to be the ceding of power from government. There needs to be the ceding of power in the research environment from researchers so it is far more community-driven, that the type of research questions being asked are the type of research questions relevant to the communities, that they want answered, and that very often they have some of those answers," Professor McIntosh says.



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