New guidelines launched for biobanking and genetic research with Māori

Dr Angela Beaton recently collaborated with researchers around New Zealand on a project exploring Māori engagement in genomic research and biobanking.

Funded by the Health Research Council and led by University of Waikato associate professor Maui Hudson, the project team consulted with iwi groups and scientists, with support from an international indigenous advisory group, to develop culturally-informed guidelines for researchers working with Māori.

The Te Mata Ira Genomic Research and He Tangata Kei Tua Biobanking guidelines draw on the foundations of mātauranga (Māori knowledge) and tikanga (Māori protocols and practices) to establish frameworks for researchers engaging with Māori for genomic research and biobanking.

The guidelines outline the cultural foundation of Māori engagement with research, provide ethical frameworks for undertaking the research and offer guidance on how to engage with Māori and report findings and analysis.

The He Tangata Kei Tua Guidelines for Biobanking with Māori were launched at the Australasian Biospecimen Network Association in Adelaide, 13 October.

The Te Mata Ira Guidelines for Genomic Research with Māori were launched at the free public event ‘Healthier Lives’ in Wellington, 18 October.

Beaton, A., Hudson, M., Milne, M., Port, R. V., Russell, K., Smith, B., Toki, V., Uerata, L., Wilcox, P., Bartholomew, L., & Wihongi, H. (2016). Engaging Māori in biobanking and genomic research: A model for biobanks to guide culturally informed governance, operational, and community engagement activities [Abstract]. Genetics in Medicine. doi: 10.1038/gim.2016.111.