Red X iconGreen tick iconYellow tick icon

Suzanne Pitama imageDean and Head of Campus

MA(Auck) PhD(Otago) PGDipEdPsych(Massey) MNZPsS


MIHI (Māori/Indigenous Health Institute)
School of Medicine and Health Sciences,
University of Otago, Christchurch.
PO Box 4345,

About Suzanne Pitama (Ngāti Kahungunu)

Suzanne is a registered educational psychologist. She has extensive experience in Māori health research and health education.

Suzanne is focussed on addressing Māori health inequities through medical education, health research (including mental health and heart health) and through membership on appropriate committees and boards (including the HRC Board and Australian Medical Council).

Suzanne's PhD focused on the design, implementation and impact of indigenous health curricula within medical schools. Suzanne is the Otago Medical School Hauora Māori faculty representative and is a member of the MBChB curriculum committee and Chairs the Hauora Māori sub-committee.

Suzanne also contributes to the MIHI post-graduate short courses that support the professional development of health professionals in the Hui Process and Meihana Model.


Undergraduate medical curriculum

Postgraduate short courses

  • MIHI RMO 301
  • MIHI 501 Clin Psych
  • MIHI 601 Clin Psych
  • MIHI 501 Health Professionals

Research interests

  • Hauora Māori – Māori Health
  • Effects of Adoption Practices on Mental Health
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Severe Behaviour in childhood and adolescence
  • MoDCONZ – Modelling disease and cancer outcomes in New Zealand

Professional activities

  • Educational Psychologist
  • Suzanne Pitama is the Haura Māori representative on the Faculty of Medicine Curriculum Committee


Pitama, S. (2024, May). What does cultural safety in geriatric medicine look like? An Indigenous NZ perspective. Invited presentation at the Australian and New Zealand Society for Geriatric Medicine (ANZSGM) Annual Scientific Meeting, Ōtautahi Christchurch, New Zealand. Conference Contribution - Verbal presentation and other Conference outputs

Pickering, J. W., Devlin, G., Body, R., Aldous, S., Jaffe, A. S., Apple, F. S., … Troughton, R. W., … Joyce, L., Frampton, C., Lacey, C. J., Richards, A. M., Pitama, S., & Than, M. (2024). Protocol for Improving Care by FAster risk-STratification through use of high sensitivity point-of-care troponin in patients presenting with possible acute coronary syndrome in the EmeRgency department (ICare-FASTER): A stepped-wedge cluster randomised quality improvement initiative. BMJ Open, 14, e083752. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2023-083752 Journal - Research Other

Manuel, J., Crengle, S., Crowe, M., Lacey, C., Cunningham, R., Clark, M., Petrović-van der Deen, F., Porter, R., & Pitama, S. (2024). Institutional pathways to psychosis for Indigenous Māori: A qualitative exploration of experiences. SSM Qualitative Research in Health, 5, 100435. doi: 10.1016/j.ssmqr.2024.100435 Journal - Research Article

Haitana, T., Clark, M. T. R., Crowe, M., Cunningham, R., Porter, R., Pitama, S., Mulder, R., & Lacey, C. (2024). The right to equal health: Best practice priorities for Māori with bipolar disorder from staff focus groups. Healthcare, 12, 793. doi: 10.3390/healthcare12070793 Journal - Research Article

Pitama, S., Haitana, T., Patu, M., Robson, B., Harris, R., McKerchar, C., Clark, T., & Crengle, S. (2024). Toitū Te Tiriti. New Zealand Medical Journal/Te ara tika o te hauora hapori, 137(1589), 7-11. Retrieved from Journal - Research Other

Back to top