Te Whare Taumata o te Mātauranga Taiwhenua

Rural Health Research & Education

Te Whare Taumata o te Mātauranga Taiwhenua are the nationally respected advocate and voice of rural health and wellbeing research in Aotearoa New Zealand. 

About Us

Our members come from all aspects of rural health and wellbeing professions including nursing, midwifery, allied health, general practice and rural hospital medicine. We work in rural hospitals, primary care, tertiary institutions, and professional Colleges and committed to undertaking research that will improve health outcomes for whānau and the communities we live and work with.

Our research and education advice will underpin and support the Hauora Taiwhenua Council, Board, and management team in setting our strategic direction and advocacy for equitable health outcomes across rural Aotearoa NZ.

We will work with rural communities and rural health and wellbeing groups to identify key research questions and find ways to provide well researched and uniquely rural solutions to them.

We are just as passionate about building the capacity and capability in those wanting to be involved in rural research and education, while striving to achieve equity for Māori in this field.

By collaborating across all Chapters, we will provide an evidence-based approach to developing a rural health and wellbeing strategy.

Spotlight: Rural Health Research and Education Day


The Rural Health Research and Education Day was an opportunity to bring together like-minded individuals with a shared passion for advancing rural health and education in Aotearoa New Zealand. The day followed the overarching theme of ‘Building Capacity Through Research and Education: A Rural Focus,’ in which participants engaged in a day filled with insightful discussions, collaborative workshops, and inspiring presentations.

The first part of the day was a research workshop that delved into the power of rural research, emphasising its ability to shape rural communities, healthcare systems, and broader social determinants of health. Attendees had the opportunity to hear a panel featuring Jean Ross, Lynne Clay, Garry Nixon and Fiona Doolan-Noble, who spoke about their thoughts on the role of research in achieving positive change for rural communities. With a keen eye on the future, discussions centred on staying informed and prepared for potential changes, such as climate shifts and shifts in governmental policies, all while keeping the unique challenges and opportunities of rural life at the forefront.

An education workshop followed, where participants explored the dynamic landscape of rural education in Aotearoa, examining the intersections of politics, environment, and pedagogy. An education panel featuring Roger Strasser, Greville Wood, and Sue Adams looked at how future-focused education is facilitated given the number of continuums at play, with the three sharing their experiences and insights.

Overall, the day served as a catalyst for change. Through fostering connections, sharing knowledge, and embracing a future-focused mindset, attendees were empowered to actively contribute to a brighter future for rural communities through research and education.












This year also saw the Research & Education Chapter of Hauora Taiwhenua call for nominations and applications for the inaugural round of the Emerging Rural Researcher and Educator Awards. The awards recognise Hauora Taiwhenua members who are positively impacting rural communities, rural health systems and/or rural workforces.

Sue Donalson received the Emerging Rural Educator Award for her work as leader of Te Hōtaka Mātauranga Whatu Ngaio o te Tai o Poutini, an innovative Interprofessional Education Programme in Greymouth. Her dedication has led to impactful placements and community projects, nurturing graduates equipped for interprofessional teamwork and rural healthcare challenges.

Deborah Rhodes’s groundbreaking research on health and safety in the dairy industry saw her presented with the Emerging Rural Researcher Award. Her PhD work addresses critical gaps, using innovative methodologies to shed light on rural health challenges, aiming for tangible policy improvements and community resilience. Congratulations to both winners!



Executive Committee

Jane George


Jesse Whitehead


Dr Sampsa Kiuru

Senior Clinical Lecturer in Rural Health Rural Health Academic Centre, Ashburton

Sampsa is a Senior Clinical lecturer in Rural health at Rural Health Academic Centre Ashburton and RHM specialist at Dunstan Hospital. Teaching interests include interprofessional education and simulation-based learning. Research interests include procedural sedation and rural education development.

Michelle Shaw

Emma Boddington

Lynne Clay

Jean Ross

Kati Blattner