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Contact Details

Director, Pacific Development (Acting), University of Otago, Deputy Director of the Va’a o Tautai in the Division of Health Sciences, Co-Deputy Director of the Coastal Peoples Southern Skies Centre for Research Excellence
BSc PGDipSci MSc PhD
Research summary
Pacific health, sleep and wellbeing


Professor Richards is Director, Pacific Development (Acting) at the University of Otago. She is also Deputy Director of the Va’a o Tautai in the Division of Health Sciences and is Co-Deputy Director of the Coastal Peoples: Southern Skies Centre for Research Excellence. Coastal People: Southern Skies aims to connects communities with world-leading, cross-discipline research to rebuild coastal ecosystems.

Coastal People: Southern Skies

Professor Richards is also co-Principal Investigator on a Better Start National Science Challenge Project (Moemoea) exploring sleep intervention development and collaborates on work related to Pacific education, access to medicines and health service delivery.

"It is an exciting time to be involved in Pacific Health Research, with a steadily building population of talented and committed Pacific Researchers, a growing collection of models and methodologies that allow Pacific experiences to be accurately and respectfully captured and a multitude of community strengths on which to base interventions to improve health and wellbeing."

Rosalina's background is in behavioural psychology and public health. As former Director of the Centre for Pacific Health and Co-Director of the Cancer Society and Behavioural Research Unit she has published across a variety of areas, including physical activity, nutrition, tobacco control and supportive cancer care. She is currently convenor for the Division of Health Sciences Pacific Health Curriculum across the Physiotherapy, Pharmacy and Dental schools and contributes to teaching of the Pacific and Global Health major of the Bachelor of Health Sciences.


Kokaua, J., Kolose-Pulefolau, B., Ruhe, T., Aldridge, F., Foliaki, S., Kokaua, L., Mapusua, T., Dacombe, J., Richards, R., Blakelock, R., & Bowden, N. (2023). Is parent education a factor in identifying autism/takiwātanga in an ethnic cohort of Pacific children in Aotearoa, New Zealand? A national cross-sectional study using linked administrative data. Autism. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/13623613231217800 Journal - Research Article

Higgs, C., Taungapeau, F., Silcock, C., Sanerivi, O., Fruean, E., Lameta, I., Vungamoeahi, T., … Richards, R. (2023). Holistic health for Pacific seniors from a weekly group gathering run by a Pacific health provider. Journal of Primary Health Care, 15(4), 358-365. doi: 10.1071/HC23093 Journal - Research Article

Richards, R., Walter, I., Finigan, A., Ruhe, T., Avia, L., Schaaf, M., & Fehoko, E. (Eds.). (2023). Proceedings of the Pacific Postgraduate Symposium: Pacific Voices XX. Dunedin, New Zealand: Pacific Islands Centre, University of Otago. 44p. Retrieved from Conference Contribution - Edited volume of conference proceedings

Penno, E., Atmore, C., Maclennan, B., Richard, L., Wyeth, E., Richards, R., Doolan-Noble, F., Gray, A. R., Sullivan, T., Gauld, R., & Stokes, T. (2023). How did New Zealand's regional district health board groupings work to improve service integration and health outcomes: A realist evaluation. BMJ Open, 13, e079268. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2023-079268 Journal - Research Article

Fangupo, L., Haszard, J., Ellison-Collins, T., Russell-Camp, T., Taylor, R., Richards, R., & Camp, J. (2023). Decolonizing measures of sleep and well-being to assess the outcomes of a Māori-led sleep intervention in Aotearoa whānau (New Zealand families). Sleep: Advances, 4(Suppl. 1), P005. doi: 10.1093/sleepadvances/zpad035.063 Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

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