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Expert Reactions

Human health impacts of climate change – Expert reaction

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on October 26th, 2017.

Climate change will impact human health, both directly – through heat waves and weather events – and indirectly by challenging our mental health, according to a new report from Royal Society Te Apārangi. The third in a series looking at climate change from New Zealand’s perspective, the report also found that climate change would likely […]

Who settled the Pacific? – In the News

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on October 4th, 2016.

New research published today in Nature suggests the first people to settle in the Pacific were from Asian farming groups rather than the Papuan ancestry that had been suspected. The international team of researchers sequenced ancient DNA from 3000-year-old skeletons from Vanuatu and Tonga and found they had little or no Papuan ancestry. Rather, the […]

Parents most in need of cot death information left out – In the News

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on August 23rd, 2016.

Māori parents are less likely to receive ‘safe sleep’ advice despite their babies having a high risk of cot death – unconscious bias in the health system may be to blame. Although Māori babies die of Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (SUDI) at almost five times the rate of non-Māori babies, less than half of Māori […]

Tūhoe and scientists collaborate on dinosaur hunt – In the news

Laura Goodall posted in on July 7th, 2016.

Ngāi Tūhoe and palaeontologists have teamed up to go digging for dinosaurs and understand more about how these animals lived in New Zealand. The research will focus on searching for fossil remains in streams that flow through Te Urewera National Park, which is managed by Ngāi Tūhoe. “They’re leading the project,” palaeontologist James Crampton from GNS Science […]

Indigenous cancer inequalities compared – In the news

John Kerr posted in on October 16th, 2015.

The gap in overall cancer rates between Māori and other New Zealanders is more pronounced than that between indigenous and non-indigenous peoples in Australia, the US and Canada, according to a new study published in Lancet Oncology. However, an accompanying commentary from University of Otago researchers notes that poor collection of data often makes such comparisons difficult and […]

Redesigned nets let small fish escape – Māori TV and 3 News

Laura Goodall posted in on April 8th, 2015.

Two different research-based approaches to boost New Zealand’s fishing sustainability have recently been covered in the media, both of which involve using nets designed with wider holes so that young fish can escape. Ngāti Kahungunu, in partnership with Hawke’s Bay Seafoods, are now planning on using a more sustainably-designed net on all their trawlers, reports Aroha Treacher at Māori TV. […]

Size matters in language evolution – experts respond

John Kerr posted in on February 3rd, 2015.

When it comes to new words, size matters. An Australian-based study of 20 Polynesian languages, including New Zealand Maori, suggests that widely-spoken languages gain new words more frequently while those with just a few speakers tend to lose words faster. How the size of a population affects the evolution of language is unclear. Do languages […]

DNA reveals diversity among first New Zealanders

John Kerr posted in on October 23rd, 2012.

University of Otago researchers have sequenced the mitochondrial DNA from several human samples extracted from the Wairau Bar burial site in the Northern South Island, shedding light on the ancestry of the first New Zealanders. The results from the sequencing of four human samples from the site, published in Proceeding of the National Academy of […]

Feather DNA analysis unveils cloak origins

John Kerr posted in on May 27th, 2011.

DNA analysis of feather cloaks dating back to 1810 has revealed fascinating insights about historical Maori trade and movement. Scientists from Massey, Auckland and Griffiths Universities, in collaboration with a host of Museums , have carefully analysed the DNA of feathers used in traditional Maori cloaks. Their samples came from 113 cloaks sourced from museums […]

Dom Post: Tsunami wiped out historic knowledge

Peter Griffin posted in on October 12th, 2009.

Bob Brockie of the Dominion Post writes about a tsunami which ocurred about 500 years in New Zealand, and its disastrous consequences. The tsunami, which archaeologists estimate to have been some 25 metres high, and the effect it had on the Maori living here, including causing the loss of a great deal of knowledge and […]

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