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Christina McKercharLecturer in Māori Health

BCApSc, MSc with distinction (Otago)

Email christina.mckerchar@otago.ac.nz
Tel +64 3 364 3638

Department of Population Health
University of Otago, Christchurch
PO Box 4345
Christchurch 8140

Background

Christina is of Ngāti Kahungunu, Tūhoe and Ngāti Porou descent. She trained as a nutritionist, and worked for a number of years, for Te Hotu Manawa Māori a national Māori Health provider.

She has also worked for Agencies for Nutrition Action, a coalition group of non-government organisations who have an interest in nutrition.

PhD

Christina is also completing a PhD and her topic is: Food availability for Māori children: A rights based approach. 
Is the right to healthy food realised for Māori children in their lived environments? If not, what policy options would impact on this right being realised?

The study is a mixed-method inquiry informed by Kaupapa Māori research principles.

The first part of the study analyses existing photographic data gathered by the KidsCam study to explore the lived environments of 11 year old children in Wellington.

The second part will use qualitative interviews with policy makers.

The health outcomes for this study relate to building the evidence for policies at local and national levels that contribute to environments for children that support healthy eating.

Supervisors: Associate Professor Gillian Abel, Associate Professor Louise Signal and Dr Cameron Lacey

Teaching 2017

Research Interests

  • Public Health Nutrition
  • Food security
  • Māori Health

 Professional groups

  • Agencies for Nutrition Action Board Member 2009–2010

Presentations

From Kererū to KFC: Māori eating patterns over time. New Zealand Dietetic Association Conference (Keynote Oral Presentation). Nutrition & Dietetics 2008;65 (Suppl. 4):A6

Masters supervisions

Sai Machiraju: The Underutilization of Mental Health Services: Perspectives of Indian Women in Christchurch
Completed August 2018

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Publications

Gage, R., Gurtner, M., Signal, L., Keall, M., Smith, M., McKerchar, C., & Howden-Chapman, P. (2021). Children's journey to and from school: An analysis of travel modes, environments and eating behaviours using wearable cameras. Proceedings of the International Society of Behavioral Nutrition & Physical Activity Annual Meeting (ISBNPA XChange): Thinking Independently Together: Let's Dance Around the World. (pp. 50). International Society of Behavioral Nutrition & Physical Activity. Retrieved from https://isbnpa2021.venuewest.com

McKerchar, C., Lacey, C., Abel, G., & Signal, L. (2021). Ensuring the right to food for indigenous children: A case study of stakeholder perspectives on policy options to ensure the rights of tamariki Māori to healthy food. International Journal for Equity in Health, 20, 67. doi: 10.1186/s12939-021-01407-4

Gage, R., Girling-Butcher, M., Joe, E., Smith, M., Ni Mhurchu, C., McKerchar, C., Puloka, V., McLean, R., & Signal, L. (2021). The frequency and context of snacking among children: An objective analysis using wearable cameras. Nutrients, 13, 103. doi: 10.3390/nu13010103

McKerchar, C., King, P., Lacey, C., Abel, G., & Signal, L. (2020). Rights-based approaches to improving food availability for tamariki Māori: A narrative literature review and theory-based synthesis. MAI Journal, 9(3), 237-248. doi: 10.20507/MAIJournal.2020.9.3.6

Worters, T., Gage, R., Watkins, L., Aitken, R., Smith, M., McKerchar, C., & Signal, L. (2020). Food marketing and its place in the marketing landscape. Proceedings of the International Society of Behavioral Nutrition & Physical Activity (ISBNPA) XChange. (pp. 418). International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. Retrieved from https://venuewest.eventsair.com/isbnpa-xchange-initiative

Curl, A., Watkins, A., McKerchar, C., Exeter, D., & Macmillan, A. (2020). Social impact assessment of mode shift [NZ Transport Agency research report 666]. Commissioned by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency. Wellington, New Zealand: Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency. 113p. Retrieved from https://www.nzta.govt.nz

Commissioned Report for External Body

Gage, R., Girling-Butcher, M., Joe, E., Smith, M., Ni Mhurchu, C., McKerchar, C., Puloka, V., McLean, R., & Signal, L. (2021). The frequency and context of snacking among children: An objective analysis using wearable cameras. Nutrients, 13, 103. doi: 10.3390/nu13010103

Journal - Research Article

McKerchar, C., Lacey, C., Abel, G., & Signal, L. (2021). Ensuring the right to food for indigenous children: A case study of stakeholder perspectives on policy options to ensure the rights of tamariki Māori to healthy food. International Journal for Equity in Health, 20, 67. doi: 10.1186/s12939-021-01407-4

Journal - Research Article

Hawley, G., Macmillan, A., Field, A., Hodgson, R., Witten, K., Kearns, R. A., & McKerchar, C. (2020). The normative influence of adults on youth access: Challenges and opportunities in the context of shifts away from car-dependence. Journal of Transport & Health, 16, 100841. doi: 10.1016/j.jth.2020.100841

Journal - Research Article

McKerchar, C., King, P., Lacey, C., Abel, G., & Signal, L. (2020). Rights-based approaches to improving food availability for tamariki Māori: A narrative literature review and theory-based synthesis. MAI Journal, 9(3), 237-248. doi: 10.20507/MAIJournal.2020.9.3.6

Journal - Research Article

McKerchar, C., Smith, M., Gage, R., Williman, J., Abel, G., Lacey, C., Ni Mhurchu, C., & Signal, L. (2020). Kids in a candy store: An objective analysis of children's interactions with food in convenience stores. Nutrients, 12(7), 2143. doi: 10.3390/nu12072143

Journal - Research Article

McKerchar, C., Smith, M., Stanley, J., Barr, M., Chambers, T., Abel, G., Lacey, C., Gage, R., … Signal, L. (2020). Food store environment examination: FoodSee: A new method to study the food store environment using wearable cameras. Global Health Promotion, 27(3), 73-81. doi: 10.1177/1757975919859575

Journal - Research Article

Signal, L. N., Edwards, R., Gage, R., Jackson, N., McKerchar, C., & Sarfati, D. (2020). The state of cancer prevention in Aotearoa New Zealand: Slow progress requires political leadership and investment for health and equity. Journal of Cancer Policy, 23, 100212. doi: 10.1016/j.jcpo.2019.100212

Journal - Research Article

Beavis, B. S., McKerchar, C., Maaka, J., & Mainvil, L. A. (2019). Exploration of Māori household experiences of food insecurity. Nutrition & Dietetics, 76, 344-352. doi: 10.1111/1747-0080.12477

Journal - Research Article

Veatupu, L., Puloka, V., Smith, M., McKerchar, C., & Signal, L. (2019). Me'akai in Tonga: Exploring the nature and context of the food Tongan children eat in Ha'apai using wearable cameras. International Journal of Environmental Research & Public Health, 16(10), 1681. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16101681

Journal - Research Article

Signal, L. N., Stanley, J., Smith, M., Barr, M. L., Chambers, T. J., Zhou, J., … McKerchar, C., Pearson, A. L., Hoek, J., Jenkin, G. L. S., & Ni Mhurchu, C. (2017). Children's everyday exposure to food marketing: An objective analysis using wearable cameras. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition & Physical Activity, 14, 137. doi: 10.1186/s12966-017-0570-3

Journal - Research Article

McKerchar, C., Bowers, S., Heta, C., Signal, L., & Matoe, L. (2015). Enhancing Māori food security using traditional kai. Global Health Promotion, 22(3), 15-24. doi: 10.1177/1757975914543573

Journal - Research Article

Signal, L. N., Walton, M. D., Ni Mhurchu, C., Maddison, R., Bowers, S. G., Carter, K. N., … Lanumata, T. S., McKerchar, C. W., O'Dea, D., & Pearce, J. (2013). Tackling 'wicked' health promotion problems: A New Zealand case study. Health Promotion International, 28(1), 84-94. doi: 10.1093/heapro/das006

Journal - Research Article

Ni Mhurchu, C., Blakely, T., Funaki-Tahifote, M., McKerchar, C., Wilton, J., Chua, S., & Jiang, Y. (2009). Inclusion of indigenous and ethnic minority populations in intervention trials: Challenges and strategies in a New Zealand supermarket study. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, 63(10), 850-855. doi: 10.1136/jech.2008.081109

Journal - Research Article

O'Toole, C., Gage, R., McKerchar, C., Puloka, V., McLean, R., & Signal, L. (2020). Is snacking the new eating norm for New Zealand children? An urgent call for research. New Zealand Medical Journal, 133(1517), 131-132. Retrieved from https://www.nzma.org.nz/journal

Journal - Research Other

Gage, R., Gurtner, M., Signal, L., Keall, M., Smith, M., McKerchar, C., & Howden-Chapman, P. (2021). Children's journey to and from school: An analysis of travel modes, environments and eating behaviours using wearable cameras. Proceedings of the International Society of Behavioral Nutrition & Physical Activity Annual Meeting (ISBNPA XChange): Thinking Independently Together: Let's Dance Around the World. (pp. 50). International Society of Behavioral Nutrition & Physical Activity. Retrieved from https://isbnpa2021.venuewest.com

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Gage, R., Girling-Butcher, M., Joe, E., Smith, M., McKerchar, C., Puloka, V., & Signal, L. (2020). Big snack: Using wearable cameras to explore children's daily snacking behaviours. Proceedings of the International Society of Behavioral Nutrition & Physical Activity (ISBNPA) XChange. (pp. 270). International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. Retrieved from https://venuewest.eventsair.com/isbnpa-xchange-initiative

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

McKerchar, C., Smith, M., Gage, R., Williman, J., Abel, G., Lacey, C., … Signal, L. (2020). Kids in a candy store: An objective analysis of children's interactions with food in convenience stores. Proceedings of the International Society of Behavioral Nutrition & Physical Activity (ISBNPA) XChange. (pp. 385). International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. Retrieved from https://venuewest.eventsair.com/isbnpa-xchange-initiative

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Worters, T., Gage, R., Watkins, L., Aitken, R., Smith, M., McKerchar, C., & Signal, L. (2020). Food marketing and its place in the marketing landscape. Proceedings of the International Society of Behavioral Nutrition & Physical Activity (ISBNPA) XChange. (pp. 418). International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. Retrieved from https://venuewest.eventsair.com/isbnpa-xchange-initiative

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Hodgson, R., Hawley, G., Macmillan, A., Connor, J., Moore, A., Field, A., Witten, K., McKerchar, C., & Kearns, R. (2019). Shaping cities for youth: Exploring the transport, place, and wellbeing needs of marginalised youth in New Zealand. Journal of Transport & Health, 14(Suppl.), (pp. S21). doi: 10.1016/j.jth.2019.100737

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Veatupu, L. L., Puloka, V., Smith, M., McKerchar, C., & Signal, L. (2019). Exploring the me'akai Tongan children eat in Ha'apai using wearable cameras. Proceedings of the Otago Global Health Institute (OGHI) 12th Annual Conference: Global Health in the Era of Climate Change. (pp. 7). Retrieved from https://www.otago.ac.nz/global-health

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

McKerchar, C. (2017). Why don't they just grow their own vegetables? The role of poverty in nutrition in Aotearoa New Zealand. Nutrients, 9(4). doi: 10.3390/nu9040348

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

McKerchar, C., Signal, L., Smith, M., Barr, M., Chambers, T., Stanley, J., & Ni Mhurchu, C. (2017). Confronting the convenience: The role of convenience stores in New Zealand children's food environments. Proceedings of the International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity Annual Meeting. (pp. 150). ISBNPA. Retrieved from https://www.isbnpa.org

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

McKerchar, C., Smith, M., Stanley, J., Barr, M., Chambers, T., Ni Mhurchu, C., & Signal, L. (2017). Confronting the convenience: The role of convenience stores in children's food environments. Proceedings of the 15th World Congress on Public Health. Retrieved from https://wcph2017.entegyapp.com/Page/28/165/26/1459

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Beavis, B. S., McKerchar, C., Maaka, J., & Mainvil, L. A. (2017, August-September). An exploration of Māori cultural values and how they are expressed in Modern Māori whānau in relation to food. Verbal presentation at the Dietitians NZ National Professional Development Meeting, Wellington, New Zealand.

Conference Contribution - Verbal presentation and other Conference outputs

Thomson, E., Williman, J., McKerchar, C., & Hider, P. (2016, September). Price discounts on core and non-core foods in two New Zealand supermarkets. Verbal presentation at the New Zealand College of Public Health Medicine (NZCPHM) Annual Scientific Meeting and Workshop, Christchurch, New Zealand.

Conference Contribution - Verbal presentation and other Conference outputs

McKerchar, C., Signal, L. N., Abel, G. M., & Lacey, C. J. (2015, May). Healthy food availability for Māori children: A rights based approach. Verbal presentation at the Hui Poutama: Māori Research Symposium, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Conference Contribution - Verbal presentation and other Conference outputs

McKerchar, C. (2014, February). Diet-related health outcomes for Māori. Verbal presentation at the Big Food Symposium: Food Policy, Politics & Population Health, Wellington, New Zealand.

Conference Contribution - Verbal presentation and other Conference outputs

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