Associate Professor Isaac Warbrick is a Māori health researcher whose research focuses on physical activity, cultural knowledge, and the important connection between the environment and hauora.
Isaac's background lies in exercise physiology and the role of physical activity in improving Māori health and reducing health inequities. Currently, he emphasises the use of kōrero tuku iho (Māori narratives and stories) as a driver and motivator for increasing physical activity, reconnecting with the natural environment, and enhancing health and well-being.
He currently serves as the Director of the Taupua Waiora Centre for Māori Health Research and as an Associate Professor at Te Wānanga Aronui o Tāmaki Makau Rau, Auckland University of Technology. Isaac leads projects and collaborates with researchers in various fields, including environmental/planetary health, exercise physiology, Māori health, the microbiome, and the application of traditional knowledge and practices.
His aim is to support Māori communities, whānau and health services to conduct community-driven health research and deliver health services that are meaningful and relevant to Māori.
In 2023, Isaac was part of a project exploring the current and potential uses of the maramataka (a Māori system of observing and aligning with the natural environment) for living a healthy lifestyle. For generations, Māori in Aotearoa have used the maramataka to determine optimal times for fishing, gathering kai, planting, and harvesting. Isaac believes that despite modern lifestyles being different, maramataka and other traditional practices still significantly impact health and well-being.