Hinemoa Elder

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Hinemoa Elder

Hinemoa Elder MNZM (cropped).jpg
Elder in 2019
Alma materMassey University
(until 1998)
Scientific career
ThesisTuku iho, he tapu te upoko. From our ancestors, the head is sacred. Indigenous theory building and therapeutic framework development for Māori children and adolescents with traumatic brain injury (2012)
Doctoral advisorsChris Cunningham
Mason Durie
Richard Faull

Hinemoa Elder MNZM is a New Zealand youth forensic psychiatrist and former television presenter. She is a professor in indigenous research at Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi,[1] a fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, and sits on the Māori Advisory Committee of the Centre for Brain Research - Rangahau Roro Aotearoa.[2] She is of English and Māori descent, from Ngāti Kurī, Te Rarawa, Te Aupōuri and Ngāpuhi iwi.[3][4]

Before training in medicine she was a presenter on 3.45 LIVE!, a children's television programme on Television New Zealand.[5]


Elder grew up in England with her Māori mother and Pakeha (New Zealand European) father, returning to New Zealand when she was 11.[6] Elder started her career in the media as an actress and television personality. After her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, Elder enrolled at the University of Auckland to study medicine. She graduated in 1999 and went on to specialise in child and adolescent psychiatry. From 2007 to 2011 she worked as a youth forensic psychiatrist in the Waikato, Auckland and Northland regions and completed post-graduate studies in forensic psychology. Her doctoral thesis, completed at Massey University in 2012, focused on the development of tikanga approaches for Māori tamariki (children) who experienced traumatic brain injury.[4] In 2015 she was a participant in a neurological research think tank at the University of Deusto, Spain, which aimed to strengthen international collaborative research partnerships in the field.[3]

Elder has served on a number of reference groups for the Ministry of Health including the expert advisory group of Blueprint II, which established the framework for New Zealand mental health service funding. She is a deputy member of the New Zealand Mental Health Review Tribunal and a specialist assessor under the Intellectual Disability Compulsory Care and Rehabilitation Act 2003. Elder is also a research associate of the Person Centred Research Centre, the National Institute for Stroke and Applied Neurosciences and is a trustee and director of Emerge Aotearoa, a non-governmental organisation.[4]


In 2014, Elder received a Health Research Council of New Zealand Eru Pomare Post Doctoral Fellowship which allowed her to extend the work of her doctorate.[3] In 2017 Elder received the Innovation and Science Award at the New Zealand Women of Influence Awards.[7]

In the 2019 Queen's Birthday Honours, Elder was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to psychiatry and Māori.[8][9]


  • Maea te Toi Ora: Māori Health Transformations, 2018 (co-contributor)[10]
  • Dr. Hinemoa Elder (2020). Aroha, Maori Wisdom for a Contented Life Lived in Harmony With Our Planet. London, England: Ebury Press (published 1 January 2021). ISBN 978-1529107067.

Personal life[edit]

Elder is the former partner of the late broadcaster Paul Holmes and had a son, Reuben, with him. Holmes was step-father to Elder's daughter from a previous relationship, Millie Elder-Holmes.[11]


  1. ^ "Dr Hinemoa Elder, of Auckland, MNZM for services to psychiatry and Māori | the Governor-General of New Zealand".
  2. ^ "Huia | Hinemoa Elder". www.huia.co.nz. Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  3. ^ a b c "Dr Hinemoa Elder | 100 Maori Leaders". 100maorileaders.com. Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  4. ^ a b c "Professor Hinemoa Elder | Our Members | Super Diverse Women". Super Diverse Women. Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  5. ^ "3:45 LIVE! - Interview Compilation | Television | NZ On Screen". www.nzonscreen.com. NZ On Screen. Retrieved 5 June 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  6. ^ "Working to keep te reo alive". Stuff. 22 July 2014. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  7. ^ "My Food Bag founder Cecilia Robinson supreme winner at Women of Influence awards". Stuff. 8 September 2017. Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  8. ^ "Queen's Birthday honours list 2019". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 3 June 2019. Retrieved 3 June 2019.
  9. ^ Lawrence, Meghan (3 June 2019). "Queen's Birthday Honours: Royal honour for child psychiatrist Hinemoa Elder". New Zealand Herald. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 3 June 2019.
  10. ^ "Huia | Maea te Toi Ora: Māori Health Transformations". www.huia.co.nz. Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  11. ^ Hooper, Pebbles (8 March 2014). "The growing pains of Millie Elder-Holmes". NZ Herald. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 5 June 2018.