Professor Elder is of Ngāti Kuri, Te Aupouri, Te Rarawa and Ngāpuhi descent. She is the Professor of Indigenous Health Research at Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi and a Fellow of RANZCP. She is an Eru Pomare Post Doctoral Fellow, Health Research Council of New Zealand. Hinemoa is also the Māori Strategic Leader for the Centre of Research Excellence (CoRE) for the Ageing Brain.

Professor Elder works in the areas of Youth Forensic Psychiatry and Neuropsychiatry. Her PhD developed theory and recovery approaches for Māori with traumatic brain injury.

She is a psychiatrist member of the NZ Mental Health Review Tribunal, a Specialist Assessor under the IDCCR Act 2003.

Professor Elder is a Trustee of both Emerge Aotearoa, and Te Puna Ora o Mataatua.