Maori infertility and assisted reproduction study

Maori attitudes to and experience of infertility and assisted human reproduction are the focus of a University of Auckland study that will shed light on a subject which until now has not been seriously examined.

Principal investigator Dr Marewa Glover from the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences says advancements in assisted human reproductive (AHR) technology have considerable significance for Maori but a focus on other serious health issues affecting tangata whenua mean little is known about issues relating to Maori and infertility.

"Negative attention given to high teen pregnancy rates and higher rates of STIs (sexually transmitted infections) create an impression that infertility is not an issue for us. In fact, the size of Maori families is steadily declining and while there is a variety of contributing socio-economic factors, we do not know if infertility among Maori is a contributor to this trend.

"My research partly arose from my own experience of using fertility services. I started to wonder if other Maori faced similar issues. Then I started looking at the research on Maori use of in-vitro fertilisation, awareness of pre-implantation, and genetic diagnosis of potential infertility issues, and found there was a real lack of quality information."

Dr Glover will host a series of hui in Auckland this month to gather the views of different Maori, starting on 12 March with a hui for takataapui Maori (gay, lesbian, trans and bisexual).

This will be followed by hui for:

  • Maori health workers on 29 March;
  • Maori men and women who haven't experienced infertility but who may have thought about or been asked to help others have children on 1 April;
  • Maori who may have experienced infertility on 8 April.

Other hui will be run for kaumatua and kuia and rangatahi aged 16-24 years.


Results of the research, which is funded by Nga Pae o Te Maramatanga will be reported in the latter half of the year.

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Apr 2016
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