Critical Health and Wellbeing Research Group

Three pieces of pounamu and ferns

The Critical Health and Wellbeing Research Group is made up of transdisciplinary critical health and wellbeing researchers with diverse backgrounds and interests across the social sciences.

With an emphasis on qualitative methodological approaches, researchers in the Group share a commitment to highlighting the social, environmental, political and cultural dimensions of health, wellbeing, illness and care for individuals, families and communities.

The concepts of health and wellbeing align with Mason Durie’s notion of Mauri Ora - the flourishing of Mauri. Mauri, or ‘life force’, refers to vitality, spirituality, personality and energy. The Mauri is a whole-of-person reflection of spirit, mind, body, relationships, and the environment (Durie, 2016).

Research group members draw on a range of contemporary social theories in their research, such as critical theories (e.g. critical realism, critical race theory); social constructionism, narrative inquiry, kaupapa Māori and Indigenous epistemologies, postcolonialism and decolonisation, post-structuralism and posthumanism. 

They do this in order to disrupt dominant societal norms, highlight flows of power at work in creating and maintaining oppression, marginalisation and privilege, and reconfigure the possibilities for more equitable, favourable and flourishing health and wellbeing outcomes for all in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Annabel Ahuriri-Driscoll

Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Kahungunu

School of Health Sciences

Māori population health, traditional Māori healing/rongoā Māori, identity, health and social action.

Dr Shanee Barraclough

School of Health Sciences

Counselling, emerging counsellor identities, social constructionist and post-structural counselling approaches, posthumanism, post-qualitative inquiry in wellbeing and mental health.

Sarah Lovell - Imported from Spark

Dr Sarah Lovell

School of Health Sciences

Health geography, sexual and reproductive health, access and delivery of care in the community, community capacity building.

Kate Reid

School of Health Sciences

Palliative care, oncology nursing, spirituality, leadership and governance, community development.

Tracy Clelland

School of Health Sciences

Governmentality and biopolitics of health education, Biopedogogies of sexuality and gender, Neoliberalism and parenting practices, Social justice.


Associate Professor David Conradson

School of Earth and Environment

Place, community wellbeing, post-disaster recovery.


Dr Rita Dionisio

School of Earth and Environment

Adaptive urbanism, bicultural planning, resilient localism, and community wellbeing.


Dr Rachael Dixon

School of Health Sciences

School-based Health Education, critical health literacy, posthumanism, new materialism, post-qualitative approaches, creativity in research practices.


Dr Letitia Medows

School of Language, Social & Political Sciences

Social work; sexual and reproductive health; abortion provision; care practices; actor-network theory; participant observation.


Dr Chris North

School of Health Sciences

Outdoor and environmental education, Minimum impact education, Sustainability education; Teacher Education; Adventure education, Risk management.


Dr Raewyn Tudor

School of Language, Social & Political Sciences

Community development and social work practice; Post-structural theory and analysis; Disaster recovery policy and interventions.

Details of our researchers, groups and interests

are available on Spark