A Maori health centre in Waikato is undertaking a research project with institutions in Australia and Canada to find out why so many indigenous children have severe dental problems.
Raukura Hauora o Tainui will share the research with the University of Adelaide and University of Toronto who will study Native American and Aboriginal tribes.
Raukura Hauora o Tainui spokesperson Joyce Maipi says in the Waikato a number of Maori children under five are being admitted to hospital to have all of their baby teeth extracted.
She says this is happening in other indigenous tribes and the aim of the five year study is to find out why.
Ms Maipi says they hope to have some results by the end of this year.