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Kelly Tikao 2022 imagePūkeka Matua - Senior Lecturer

Waitaha, Kāti Māmoe and Kāi Tahu

PhD, RCpN, Cert.Te Reo, BA Māori, MsciComm



Kelly joined the Centre for Post Graduate Nursing Studies and Māori Indigenous Health Institute in November 2021, bringing her experience as a senior registered nurse with over 20 years' experience working in a variety of health settings, including District Health Boards in Auckland, Wellington, Dunedin and Christchurch.

She has extensive experience working in community and clinical health settings with medical, surgical, neurology, public health and mental health inpatient work. Kelly has divided her nursing experience between secondary health care settings and primary hauora Māori community organisations situated all over New Zealand.

Kelly affiliates to most Marae on the Horomaka including Ōnuku, Koukourarata, Rapaki, Wairewa, Taumutu and Tūāhuriri, also to Waihao in Morven and Takahanga Marae in Kaikoura. Her cultural connections are her rongoā and she instils this, alongside her tāne Rihari Taratoa-Bannister, of Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāi Te Rangi affiliation, to their five tamariki.

Research interests

  • Kaupapa Māori Methodology and Methods
  • The realm of advocacy/independence and mana motuhake for people living with disability.
  • Youth Mental Health and working with whānau.
  • The rejuvenation of Ngāi Tahu Customary Birthing Knowledge and Practices.

Collaborative projects

Kelly works part-time with the Donald Beasley Institute (DBI) working alongside the team on a number of projects including:

  • “Tell us about you” for the Royal Commission inquiry into Abuse in Care.
  • A Bicultural Framework for the DBI.

Kelly also works with the Ministry of Education on a project titled, “Kā Au Kahuraki”. Her role is to evaluate the impact the Mana Whenua Strategy within Kā Au Kahuraki has had on the enhancement of whānau wellbeing and the decrease in whānau harm in the Christchurch East area.

Kelly is a Researcher and Adjunct Fellow at the University of Canterbury working on the MindKiwi Project under the Health Science Department. This project is evaluating the effectiveness of a mindfulness programme for tamariki (8-12 years) who are living with ADHD and are not currently medicated. The mindfulness programme aims to equip tamariki and whānau with more tools to induce calmness and improve length of concentration.

Teaching responsibilities

NURS 442 Healthcare in New Zealand

Assistance throughout all other post graduate nursing papers with Hauora Māori components.

Supervision responsibilities

  • PhD and Masters students


Wilson, L., Wilkinson, A., & Tikao, K. (2022). Health professional perspectives on translation of cultural safety concepts into practice: A scoping study. Frontiers in Rehabilitation Sciences, 3, 891571. doi: 10.3389/fresc.2022.891571

Hale, L., Potiki Bryant, K., Ward, A. L., Falloon, A., Montgomery, A., Mirfin-Veitch, B., Tikao, K., & Milosavljevic, S. (2018). Organisational views on health care access for hauā (disabled) Māori in Murihiku (Southland), Aotearoa New Zealand: A mixed methods approach. New Zealand Journal of Physiotherapy, 46(2), 51-66. doi: 10.15619/NZJP/46.2.03

Hale, L., Potiki Bryant, K., Ward, A. L., Russell, A., Montgomery, A., Tikao, K., Mirfin-Veitch, B., & Milosavljevic, S. (2017, November). Health care accessibility among hauā Māori in Murihiku/Southland, Aotearoa/New Zealand. Verbal presentation at the Disability Matters Conference, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Potiki Bryant, K., Hale, L., Tikao, K., Milosavljevic, S., Wright-Tawha, T., Ward, A. L., & Mirfin-Veitch, B. F. (2016). Art as a tool for disseminating research outcomes: The Hauā Mana Māori Project and Participatory Action Research in New Zealand. Journal of Humanities in Rehabilitation. Retrieved from

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