Soana Muimuiheata (Aotearoa New Zealand)

February 2021 Hui-tanguru

Soana was born in Tongan and is one of the few Polynesian people listed in the New Zealand Registered Dietitian (NZRD) Board. She is on the final stage of her Doctoral thesis in Health Science with the Auckland University of Technology (AUT), and welcomes the Residential Scholarship as perfect timing for her thesis. Soana’s research is based on food and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM). It draws on conversation/talanoa with Tongan leaders (church, community and professionals) addressing issues around health; in particular the impact of diabetes on our lifestyle, as well as the challenges of being diagnosed with T2DM. 
Soana will spend her time at Vaughan Park working on her research which aims to shed light on food practices and finding out how we can best minimise the development of T2DM in Pacific communities. The results from this study will hopefully help inform government policy and services, and develop framework that will improve diabetes management in New Zealand. Soana says; “I would like a framework, which will incorporate a holistic approach to obtain total wellbeing in body, mind and spirit to offer our body as a living sacrifice to God”. Malo Aupito.