Māori Becoming Peer Educators in Later Life: Impacts on Identity, Well-being, and Social Connectedness


Simpson Mary Louisa1ORCID,Oetzel John1ORCID,Nock Sophie2,Greensill Hine-iti-moana2,Meha Pare3,Reddy Rangimahora3,Johnston Kirsten3,Cameron Michael1,Harding Truely1,Shelford Pita1,Smith Linda Tuhiwai2,Hokowhitu Brendan2


1. Waikato Management School, University of Waikato, New Zealand

2. Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Studies, University of Waikato, New Zealand

3. Rauawaawa Kaumātua Charitable Trust, Hamilton, New Zealand


Abstract Objective The aim of this study was to examine ways that older Māori (New Zealand’s Indigenous people) enhanced their ability to be peer educators and how this role impacted on their sense of purpose and well-being in later life. Method Kaupapa Māori and community-based participatory research principles guided the peer intervention involving 26 Māori kaumātua (older people 55 years and older) as peer educators (tuakana) for 121 other kaumātua (teina) facing transitions in later life. Each pair held up to 3 conversations; independent coders rated tuakana communication skills. We used mixed methods in a pre- and post-test, clustered staggered design. Participants completed baseline and post-intervention assessments of health and well-being consistent with Māori worldviews. 5 focus groups involving 22 teina and 1 with 5 tuakana were held. Results Tuakana communication skills were rated as high by teina and independent coders. Qualitative analysis supported the importance of Māori communication processes for the role. Further, three measures increased significantly from the baseline to the final period for tuakana accounting for about 15% of the variance in these variables: sense of purpose (p = .07), self-rated health (p = .05), and health-related quality of life (p = .04). The qualitative analysis supported the benefits of the peer educator role for older Māori including enhanced sense of identity, well-being, and social connectedness. Discussion The results demonstrated that kaumātua had strong communication in the peer educator role and that the intervention has positive impacts for them. The study contributes to peer intervention research that may help to improve experiences ofIndigenous and other older people.


Ageing Well National Science Challenge


Oxford University Press (OUP)


Geriatrics and Gerontology,Gerontology,Clinical Psychology,Social Psychology

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