Tia Haira is a biomedical scientist specialising in chemical genetics, immunology, and biobanks within mātauranga Māori and western science systems. She is dedicated to sharing science with Wahine and rangatahi to support them in pursuing science careers.
She earned a Bachelor of Medical Science in Human Pathology and Genetics at Te Herenga Waka, Victoria University of Wellington, and completed a Master of Medical Science. For her Master’s thesis, she researched and supported using kānuka rongoā in medicine.
Currently, Tia works as the Kai Matai Hauora Science Leader at the Institute of Environmental Science and Research, where she examines the impact of science at a whānau, hapū and iwi level. She is involved in developing research with iwi on infectious diseases and rongoā Māori. She strongly advocates for Māori engagement in research and governance of data to ensure that research is focused on the needs of Māori.
Tia's current research focuses on using Mātauranga Māori to scientifically validate the medicinal properties of taonga species used traditionally by Māori to heal various medical conditions. This work is centred on recognising Māori knowledge and exploring potential economic opportunities and investments for hapū and iwi. She is also involved in restructuring current public health delivery and services by ESR to meet Māori's needs better.