School of Social and Cultural Studies

Social Policy Students

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Nicola Grace

Nicola Grace

MA Student in Social Policy

Supervisor: Dr Sandra Grey

An Evaluation of Kaupapa Maori Weight Loss and Lifestyle Model

Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa
Ko Ngāti Porou, Ko Te Whanau-a-Apanui, Ko Ngai Tahu hoki ōku iwi i te taha o tōku pāpā
Nō Niue me Poland ahau i te taha o tōku māmā
Ko Nicola Grace tōku ingoa, tēnā koutou.

The focus of my Masters thesis is to describe and evaluate a kaupapa Māori whānau-led weight loss and lifestyle change model that was developed in 2013 to support whānau to reduce obesity and increase physical activity long term through lifestyle and behavioural changes.  Key Māori concepts of whakawhanaungatanga (building relationships), manaakitanga (supporting each other) and te reo Māori (the Māori language) underpinned the model that directed the ‘challenges’ whānau entered into. The model was developed by Hiria McRae and myself to encourage whānau to continue with their healthy lifestyles while supporting new whānau who were keen to make changes.

The evaluation will therefore focus on finding out if, and how, the model contributed to the challenge goals, such as: were the weight loss goals and lifestyle changes met; what impact the mode of delivery of the model such as the use of social media and technology, support systems, knowledge and advice have on medium-long term outcomes; what are the participants’ views and experiences of the challenge and how did the participants’ experiences of this model compare with other ‘generic’ weight loss challenges/programmes that are available?

Contact: nicola.grace@vuw.ac.nz

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Catriana Mulholland

Catriana Mulholland

Phd Student in Social Policy

Supervisors: Dr Sandra Grey, Dr Ben Snyder

Conversations from the Coalface: Positive Asymmetry and the Culture of Silence Surrounding the Pike River Mine (2010) Disaster.

My research will analyse the positive asymmetry and culture of silence that surrounds the Pike River Mine (2010) Disaster. I intend to map the findings of the Royal Commission of Inquiry alongside voices of the affected Greymouth Community; examining models of accident causation and some of the clouding, eclipsing and recasting practices that exist[ed] at cognitive, cultural and systemic levels; with the view to forecasting and averting future workplace tragedy in Aotearoa/ New Zealand.

Contact: catriana.mulholland@vuw.ac.nz

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Chris Nimmo

Chris Nimmo

MA Student in Social Policy

Supervisor: Dr Sandra Grey

Comparing Adult Relationships Policies in Western Democracies

Cross-national comparative family policy research has a curious tendency to focus almost exclusively on policies around children and parenting at the expense of considering policies that shape the intimate relationships of adults. My research aims to improve our understanding of cross-national differences in policies around marriage, civil unions and de facto relationships. In particular, I am interested in how different countries’ policies attempt to shape the form and function of these relationships. Having spent my Honours year exploring the development of marriage policies in Malaysia and Singapore I am looking forward to shifting my research focus a little closer (culturally) to home, even if the policies themselves are a little less… adventurous.

Contact: chris.nimmo@vuw.ac.nz

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Sunshine Prior

Sinshine Prior MA student in Social PolicyMA Student in Social Policy

Supervisor: Dr Allison Kirkman

Sexuality Narratives of Deaf Women in Wellington

New Zealand is home to several thousand Deaf women, yet very little research has been done on their unique needs, experiences, or histories. Consequently, not much is known about their lives or development in key areas, such as sexuality. My Master’s thesis will attempt to address that knowledge gap by exploring the sexuality narratives of Deaf women in Wellington, New Zealand. Utilizing an action research approach, the research project will analyse information about the experiences of these women in order to understand the role interpersonal and institutional factors have in shaping those experiences. Of particular interest are both their historical and current experiences with sex and dating relationships. The information will then be used to develop programming or materials in association with Deaf Aotearoa that may improve positive sexuality experiences and reduce negative sexuality experiences for the Deaf women served by them.

Contact: sunshine.prior@vuw.ac.nz

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