Healthy Pacific Grandparents Study

The Healthy Pacific Grandparents Study is a community-based research project which is nested within the families of the longitudinal Pacific Islands Families Study. This project is designed to engage with the grandparent generation to identify, and initiate solutions to address, what matters to older Pacific people in relation to social participation and healthy ageing.

Purpose and key themes

The purpose of the research is to:

  • Determine whether the current social and health system environments meet the needs of Pacific grandparents
  • Work with them to devise and implement solutions (action plans) to deal with identified issues
  • Support them to take up leadership in creating the change they want for their future

Grandparent representatives will partner with the research team to discuss these issues and to present key themes and proposed solutions to the stakeholders and work with stakeholders and families, to design the action plans.

Engaging with grandparents and stakeholders

Through the Pacific Islands Families Study, our research team is already engaged with a comprehensive group of national and local end-users and policymakers. We are keen to consult with Pacific health teams working with older Pacific people in South Auckland and to build on these stakeholder relationships over the course of the study.

The study is geographically situated at AUT South Campus in Manukau, embedding the research in the community. Grandparents and stakeholders will be involved in the ways information is disseminated, and in the design and implementation of strategies that are sustainable for the ageing Pacific population in New Zealand.

Research methods and participants

Active involvement and participation in a variety of contexts are known to be beneficial for health and wellbeing. The Pacific Islands Families: Healthy Pacific Grandparents (PIF:HPG) Study will use participatory action research methods to investigate matters that are considered important by older Pacific people for their wellbeing, and which have the potential to contribute to their participation in social and health system settings.

Seventy-two grandparents, recruited from the existing longitudinal Pacific Islands Families (PIF) Study, and representing the largest Pacific ethnic groups in NZ, will act as research partners by sharing their knowledge and expertise to define for themselves their needs and expectations as they age in NZ.

A transformative process, utilising Talanoa and Talanga approaches, will form the basis of the study methodology. Involvement of participants as co-researchers builds the capacity of older Pacific people to take leadership in creating the change they need and desire. Participant-proposed solutions and action plans developed in conjunction with stakeholders and end-users will be implemented with the aim of enhancing the wellbeing of older Pacific people.


  • Tautolo, E, Wrapson, W, Paterson, J, Wright-St Clair, V, Neville, S, Dewes, O, Iusitini, L. Healthy Pacific grandparents: a participatory action research project exploring ageing well amongst Pacific people in New Zealand. Self and Society Journal. June 2017.

Any questions?

If you want to find out more about the Pacific Islands Families Study or have a comment, get in touch.

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