Mera Penehira was born and raised in Te Kuiti and descends from the iwi (tribes) of Ngati Raukawa ki Otaki and Rangitaane. In 2010 she was awarded the Health Research Council’s Hohua Tutengaehe Research Fellowship in Māori health, which she is undertaking in the Te Kotahi Research Institute at the University of Waikato. Mera has a background in Maori and Special Education and has been researching in Maori health for the past six years. Her doctoral thesis centred on traditional knowledge and healing practices case studying Maori women with hepatitis C. In particular the research examined the process of moko (traditional Maori skin carving) and notions of mouri as legitimate components of Maori well being. In her postdoctoral research Mera will explore Maori views on sexual and reproductive health developing a Kaupapa Maori model of resistance and well being in this context. Mera is also involved in Kura Kaupapa Maori and has a daughter attending Te Kura Kaupapa o Hoani Waititi Marae in Glen Eden, Auckland.