Society and community

Pukeko Research is committed to working with community organisations and groups to undertake high quality research and evaluation. We work from a model of research for policy and for practice.  We are also interested in teaching community sector workers to be researchers in their own right.

Major study of grandparents raising grandchildren

Data collection took place between March and May 2016. The first reports will appear on the GRG website in mid-September.  A large follow-up agenda has been developed relating to alcohol, drugs, state support, family court, Maori, great grandparents and teh reasons for children coming into care.

Women, disaster management and policy

The full account of our women's voices project, Movers and Shakers, is available for download on this website or at Community Research.  Over the 2014 summer the team is tackling a policy analysis of key themes emerging from the research.

Women's unheard voices

The second round of research commenced in July 2013, after funding was received from the Lotteries Community Sector Research fund. We are looking for 40 women who had no resources, no help and possible spent time in welfare centres as a result of any of the earthquakes.  Many of the current enrollees are still living in extremely difficult circumstances.

Health sector work

We work with a range of health sector organisations - often those that intersect health and community, which is a fast-growing area in New Zealand, driven by the ageing populationand a focus on community care.  Our recent work with Hospice New Zealand epitomises that focus, with HNZ offering high quality training courses for aged care providers, a programme we have evaluated.  Other health work includes partnerships with health research organisations in Christchurch and Auckland.  We have also project-managed two national health surveys for the Ministry of Health.

Women's voices from the earthquakes

The first stage of this project is now complete (see blog page for links to online stories).

As part of the research team from the National Council of Women, we are helping direct this project, which is described in the following article, recently published in the Fulbright Newsletter:

For a long time after the September and February earthquakes, the ‘voices’ heard tended to be the opinions of the men, about leadership, construction, demolition and so on. Yet, at the monthly meeting of the National Council of Women, we began to hear other stories.

For example, women dashing from one end of the city to the other each morning, dropping their displaced children off in new schools, then heading to their own jobs in a far corner of town.

Or of older women, including one of our own very senior members, who thought they had a home for life in a rest home, only to be forced out of the city to live with relatives, when their home was destroyed and the contract allowed only about half of its value to be reimbursed.

And women carried on their usual nurturing roles, trying to make a home and support their families amidst the rubble.

We began to conceive of a project that would capture the voices of ordinary women caught in these dreadful events. But we had no money to do the work. What happened next was amazing. We put out the word to our networks, and women volunteered to be interviewers and interviewees.

From our annual suffrage supper, we raised enough money to buy some sound recorders and video cameras. Rosemary du Plessis from the University of Canterbury trained the first 20 interviewers late last year, and a second group will be trained in February. We have a list of 160 people who want to be interviewed.

Interviewers contact the person, do the interview on camera, send the recording to the university for storage and later use, do a summary of the findings and send that to the research leaders for the writing of a report. Z Energy was applied to and provided petrol vouchers for all participants.

We recently also received a grant from the Christchurch City Council to support the project, which will help. In the middle of adversity, with few resources except ourselves, but a great deal of will, a research project has grown that will provide a permanent record of the Christchurch quakes from the perspective of women in the city. A flower has bloomed!

Data Collection is now complete for the first stage, and report-writing is completed but not yet released.

History of the Howard League for Penal Reform

This history is currently being researched and written, under the auspices of a Claude McCarthy Fellowship being held at Victoria University. It is a most fascinating and entertaining history of some of New Zealand's most passionate and colourful characters, fighting to end the death penalty and flogging, and for better conditions in prisons. The text should be completed by the end of 2013.  Apologies for the delay!

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