Ausaga Fa’asalele Tanuvasa

Dr Ausaga Faasalele Tanuvasa profile picture

Senior Research Fellow Health Services Research Centre, Faculty of Health


  • RGON, NZ
  • Plunket Cert in Well Child, NZ
  • BN, VUW
  • PhD, Nursing VUW


Ausaga Fa’asalele Tanuvasa joined the Health Services Research Centre (HSRC) as a Senior Research Fellow in 2007. Ausaga previously worked as a Senior Lecturer and worked for a number of health and primary health care services and government departments, including NZAID and ACC. Her research interests include primary health care, maternity care, research and policy, and research projects that promote health outcomes for Samoan/Pacific peoples’ in Aotearoa/New Zealand.

Her role is to create a vibrant Pacific research capacity and capability in the Centre. Ausaga has worked on 15 projects, including five current projects from 2016-2020. Her PhD in nursing education at Victoria University of Wellington focused on faa-Samoa epistemology called ‘Samoanisi’ to explore the ‘Place of contraception and abortion in the lives of Samoan women’.

Supervision interests

  • Samoan/Pacific topics in any health field, particularly, health inequalities, health and wellbeing, nursing, ethics, primary health care, reproductive, maternity/midwifery care, indigenous health

Research interests

  • Samoan/Pacific peoples’ health and wellbeing
  • Primary health care
  • Community care
  • Maternity care
  • Qualitative research and evaluation
  • Building the capacity and capability of Pacific peoples in research.

Current projects

  • Primary health care programme grant – HRC funded 2018-2023
  • Improving integrated health services for Pacific families - HRC funded 2017-2020
  • Pacific peoples’ experiences of chronic conditions – HRC funded 2017-2019
  • Evaluation of Mana-a-riki Integrated Programme – Middlemore Foundation Board 2016-2018
  • Expanding the Role of Pharmacy Services in New Zealand funded by HRC 2017-2020

Recently completed supervision and/or research projects

  • Samoan People’s Knowledge and Understanding of Cardiovascular Disease funded by HRC - PhD supervision 2013-2016 (Supervisor)
  • Pacific Health Services in the Central Region – Funded by Pacific Collective 2015
  • Evaluation of Communicating with Pacific Communities, Radio Catalyst Pacific Limited – Pacific Directorate, Capital and Coast Health, Wellington 2011 (PI)
  • Improving health system performance: An economic analysis of primary care reform, funded by HRC 2009-1012
  • Networking grant, HRC 2012 (PI)
  • Cost effectiveness of interventions to prevent obesity – HRC funded 2009
  • Evaluation of the Healthy Eating Healthy Action Strategy – Ministry of Health 2008-2010
  • Samoan women’s attitudes towards antenatal and midwifery care – HRC 2008-2010 (PI)
  • Access and utilisation of midwifery services by Pacific Women. – HRC Seeding grant 2007 (PI)
  • Samoan Women’s Experiences of Traditional Midwifery Healing Practices in New Zealand. New Researcher Grant, VUW 2008 (PI)


View a full list of publications from Ausaga Fa’asalele Tanuvasa