Hāpai Research and Evaluation specialise in innovative social and health research and evaluation that strengthens Whānau Ora and advances Māori health.

Our team welcomes project partnerships, and regularly collaborate with external research organisations, provide kaupapa Māori research and evaluation advice, and are members of a number of boards and governance groups.

Our Service

We are a multidisciplinary team who can offer research and evaluation advice and support in the following areas:

  • Results Based Accountability (RBA)
  • Formative, Process and Outcome Evaluation
  • Qualitative and Quantitative Research
  • Information Communications Technology (ICT)
  • Community and Participatory Action Research
  • Collective Impact
  • Tobacco Control
  • Whānau Ora
  • Well Child
  • Social and Public Health Policy Development
  • Health Leadership
  • Mental Health
  • Alcohol and other Drugs
  • Whānau Ora
  • Nutrition and Physical Activity
  • Gambling Harm Minimisation
  • Cultural Responsiveness

Our extensive network of stakeholders, and Collective Impact approach, means we are uniquely placed to leverage our relationships for specific skills and knowledge that can be used to enhance our work, or to provide a combined, cross organisational response to social and health issues that impact on Whānau Ora and Māori health.

Current Projects

Hāpai presenting at the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco Annual Meeting 2017.

Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco Annual Meeting
March 8-11, 2017
Firenze Fiera Congress & Exhibition Center
Florence, Italy

Stephanie Erick (Senior Advisor) represented Hāpai at the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco conference in Florence, Italy. Our presentation looked at the persistent disparities that have remained even though there has been continuous decline in smoking amongst 14-15 year olds in New Zealand.

Our study explores the decline in smoking over time for ethnic groups, and the extent of the disparities amongst indigenous Māori and Pacific young smokers as observed in Aotearoa.

Click here to download

Some key strategies that will now be looked at in more detail include

  • Reduction in tobacco outlet numbers
  • Availability of e-cigs more available than tobacco.

A key event attended at the conference was the Indigenous symposium which was chaired by Anaru Waa and titled “ The role of research in meeting FCTC commitments to indigenous peoples: what progress have we made?

Hāpai were proud to participate in this symposium and hear about extraordinary projects happening with indigenous communities in Australia and Minnesota, USA. In particular it was wonderful to hear from our very own Dr Heather Gifford (previous Hāpai Advisory group Chair for Te Ara Ha Ora) and Dr El-Shadan Tautolo (Hāpai’s Pacific Smokefree Network member).

Recent Projects

  • Evaluation of the Collective Impact Initiative for Te Pou Matakana, North Island Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency
  • International Indigenous Gateway Event, International Gambling Conference 2016 for the Ministry of Health, Minimisation and Prevention of Gambling Harm Portfolio (view the report below)
  • Evaluation of Te Pae o Te Hā, Smokefree Innovation Funding Project for Te Whānau o Waipareira Trust

International Gambling Conference - Indigenous Gateway Pre-Conference

Hosted by Hāpai Research and Evaluation
Funded by the Ministry of Health
10-12 February 2016

Hāpai were successful in their bid for funding to host an Indigenous Pre-Conference ahead of the International Gambling Conference (Hosted by Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand and Auckland University of Technology). A number of indigenous presentations were delivered, with thoughts, strategies and actions developed to assist in the Minimisation of Gambling Harm for our indigenous communities. As part of this pre-conference, Hāpai have formed an pan-continental collaboration with Sheila Wahsquonaikezhik of Canada, and Janis Koolmatrie of Ngarrindjeri mob in Australia who presented at the NAGS Conferencein Cairns Australia in November 2016. See below for the Pre-Conference report.

IGC Pre-Conference summary report

National Association for Gambling Studies Conference, November 2016

The Gambling Harm Infrastructure Services for Hāpai (National Coordination Service and Te Kakano) jointly submitted in collaboration with Sheila Wahsquonaikezhik of Canada, and Janis Koolmatrie of Ngarrindjeri mob in Australia, an abstract which has been accepted to deliver a panel presentation at the National Association for Gambling Studies conference this year in Cairns.

The presentation will discuss Indigenous gambling across three continents: Australia, New Zealand and Canada. It will share the views of Indigenous researchers and practitioners working in the field to develop and implement policies, practices and procedures that are culturally appropriate for First Nations communities experiencing cultural, social and economic impacts related to gambling issues. The discussion will also focus on current research trends, findings and culturally appropriate harm minimization strategies. For more information regarding the National Association of Gambling Studies conference see here.

Invited Panel Discussion

Fogarty, M., Gordon, A., Loo, J., Lyndon-Tonga, L., Moussa, R., Robinson, J.(Commentator), & Wahsquonaikezhik, S. (2016, November). Diversity and gambling. In K. Ohtsuka (Chair), Michael Walker Memorial Lecture Panel Discussion: Diversity and Gambling presented at the National Association for Gambling Studies Conference, Cairns, Queensland, 25 November 2016.


  • Dyall, L & Z Hawke, R Herd, P Nahi, 2009. Housework as a Metaphor for Gambling Public Health Action: An Indigenous Perspective. Published Journal Article.Z
  • Dyall, L & Z Hawke, Coupe, N, Nahi, P 2013 Being a Good Parent, Duty of Care for Gambling Venues 2013. Journal Article 2013

Our Team

Our team provide support and advice across all Hāpai contracts as well as in-house mentoring, capability and capacity building. Having an in-house research and evaluation team also means our contract managers and stakeholders receive timely and pragmatic advice and support. This is especially important when working with diverse communities, which are often highly dynamic and challenging environments.

Layla Lyndon-Tonga

Layla Lyndon-Tonga


Ngāti Porou, Ngā Puhi nui tonu

Layla’s extensive history in mental health and her interest in public health, Māori health, problem gambling and addictions has made Layla a valuable contributor and leader in these fields. She’s experienced in a range of different initiatives from service development and planning to policy development at the local, regional and national level. Layla holds a number of board/executive roles with several interest groups.

Stephanie Erick

Stephanie Erick


Stephanie is a Senior Advisor for Hapai Te Hauora Tapui and brings wide-ranging research experience including design, implementation, evaluation and dissemination. She is interested in producing and collecting sound evidence to enable policy makers and communities to contribute to the Smokefree 2025 goal. Her work on the annual ASH Year 10 survey ensured evidence was published and translated for end-users in particular Maori and Pacific communities. Other research interests include innovations to prompt mass stop smoking and building research capacity in others. Stephanie continues to participate in research advisory groups and projects with universities and research collectives.