Research Projects



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Currentright arrow Completedright arrow


Currentright arrow Completedright arrow

Supporting Healthy Lifestyles: A Māori and Pasifika Approach (WellText)

This project is hosted by the University of Auckland.

Principal investigator: Professor Cliona Ni Mhurchu

Welltext is a new research project funded by the New Zealand Government’s National Health Science Challenge (Healthier Lives).  The aim of Welltext is to develop and evaluate a culturally tailored, personalized mobile health (mHealth) delivered healthy lifestyle and weight management programme for Māori and Pasifika in New Zealand.  The research comprises two phases.  In the first we will take a partnership approach whereby Māori and Pacific leaders and communities co-design the mHealth programme with the research team. Co-design is a means of ensuring that the people who use services are closely involved and invested in their development.  The second phase involves an adaptive (SMART) trial to test the effectiveness of the programme.  SMART trials allow for re-randomisation of non-responders to additional strategies that could potentially augment or are an alternative to the main intervention programme.



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Eyles R, Jull A, Dobson R, Tupai-Firestone R, Whittaker R, Te Morenga L, Goodwin D, Ni Mhurcha C. Co-design of mHealth Delivered Interventions: A Systematic Review to Assess Key Methods and Processes. Curr Nutr Rep, 2016; 5(3): 160-167. link icon
Te Morenga L, Pekepo C, Corrigan C, Matoe L, Mules R, Goodwin D, Dymus J, Tunks M, Grey J, Humphrey G, Jull A, Whittaker R, Tupai-Firestone R, Ni Murchu C. Co-designing an mHealth tool in the New Zealand Māori community with a “Kaupapa Māori” approach. AlterNative, 2018; 14(1): 90-99. link icon
Verbiest M, Borrell S, Tupai-Firestone R, Funaki T, Goodwin D, Grey J, Henry A, Hughes E, Humpfrey G, Jiang Y, Jull A, Pekepo C, Schumacher J, Te Morenga L, Tunks M, Vano M, Whittaker R, Ni Murchu C. The effectiveness of a co-designed, culturally-tailored mHealth tool to support healthy lifestyles in Māori and Pasifika communities in New Zealand: Study protocol of a cluster-randomised controlled trial. JMIR Research Protocols, 2018; 7(8):e10789. link icon
Tupai-Firestone R, Funaki T, Dalhousie S, Henry A, Vano M, Grey J, Jull A, Whittaker R, Te Morenga L, Ni Mhurcha C. Identifying and overcoming barriers to healthier lives. Pacific Health Dialog, 2018; 21(2):54-66. link icon
Verbiest M, Corrigan C, Dalhousie S, Tupai-Firestone R, Funaki T, Goodwin D, Grey J, Henry A, Humphrey G, Jull A, Vano M, Pekepo C, Te Morenga L, Whittaker R, Ni Mhurcha C. Using codesign to develop a culturally tailored, behaviour change mHealth intervention for indigenous and other priority communities: A case study in New Zealand. TBM, 2019; 9(4): 720-736. link icon
Ni Mhurcha C, Te Morenga L, Tupai-Firestone R, Grey J, Jiang Y, Jull A, Whittaker R, Dobson R, Dalhousie S, Funaki T, Hughes E, Henry A, Lyndon-Tonga L, Pekepo C, Penetito-Hemara D, Tunks M, Verbiest M, Humphrey G, Goodwin D. A co-designed mHealth programme to support healthy lifestyles in Māori and Pasifika peoples in New Zealand (OL@-OR@): a cluster-randomised controlled trial. Lancet Digital Health, 2019; 1(6): e298–e307. link icon
Tupai-Firestone R, Cheng S, Dalhousie S, Hughes E, Funaki T, Henry A, Vano M, Grey J, Schumacher J, Jull A, Whittaker R, Te Morenga L, Ni Mhurcha C. Exploring Pasifika wellbeing: findings from a large cluster randomised controlled trial of a mobile health intervention programme. NZMJ, 2020; 133(1524): 82-101. link icon

January 2016


  • Prof. Cliona Ni Mhurchu
  • University of Auckland, NZ
  • Dr Lisa Te Morenga
  • University of Otago, NZ
  • Assoc Prof. Robyn Whittaker
  • University of Auckland, NZ
  • Assoc Prof. Andrew Jull
  • University of Auckland, NZ
  • Dr Helen Eyles
  • University of Auckland, NZ


  • Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE)