Te Ira Kāwai



Te Ira Kāwai – Auckland Regional Biobank (ARB) is a collection of tissue samples and some relevent clinical information about the samples that have been donated by patients to support ethically approved medical research.

In the past, this tissue was discarded. It wasn’t used to help find cures for cancer and other diseases.

The ARB is a partnership between the University of Auckland and all three Auckland metropolitan district health boards (DHBs) ‒ Auckland, Waitemata and Counties Manukau.

Dame Naida Glavish, Chief Advisor Tikanga; General Manager, He Kāmaka Waiora, for the Waitemata and Auckland District Health Boards, was instrumental in the naming of Te Ira Kāwai.

Te Ira Kāwai – ARB is the kaitiaki (guardian) of all donated tissue. We incorporate tikanga Māori into our processes, acknowledging Te Tiriti o Waitangi – The Treaty of Waitangi. Tangata whenua are involved in both governance and scientific guidance.

To find out more about Te Ira Kāwai, go to About Biobanking

“My grandmother raised me. And when someone asks me for a name, I immediately meditate to my grandmother and think, now, how would you advise me, you know, to consider this name? And it just comes. Te Ira is the DNA. Kāwai is the genealogy. 

“You go back as far as you can and come forward, even track it to the unborn child. Te Ira Kāwai is immediately a concept. When Māori use it, straight away it tells a story about your ancestry. Just those words alone – THE ancestry, YOUR ancestry — is really what that is saying.”

Naida Glavish

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