Dr Merata Kawharu


Ngāti Whātua, Ngāpuhi

DPhil (Oxford), PGDipBus (Auckland), BA (Auckland)
Associate Professor (Otago), Director (Research) at the James Henare Māori Research Centre

Email: m.kawharu@auckland.ac.nz
Phone: (09) 373 7599 ext 87916
Location: Room 4, Building 225, 18 Wynyard Street, City Campus

Merata has been involved in Māori and indigenous cultural and economic development, locally nationally and internationally (including as a consultant to the UN and to UNESCO). She has published widely on Māori development under Marsden grants, FoRST and other funding, and has worked with many hapu and iwi claimants on their Treaty claims, researching and writing in particular on customary histories and Te Tiriti. Her most recent book Tāhuhu Korero: The Sayings of Taitokerau (Auckland University Press) (2008) has been well-received in Taitokerau and won the Te Reo Māori award at the inaugural Māori book awards. As a Rhodes Scholar, Merata read Social Anthropology for her DPhil at Oxford University. In 2012 she was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Māori Education.


Research interests

Cultural heritage, entrepreneurial (tribal/indigenous) leadership, World Heritage, hapū/iwi social and economic development

Recent publications


Kawharu, M., 2008. Tāhuhu Korero: Sayings of Taitokerau. Auckland: Auckland University Press.

Kawharu, M., (ed.) 2014. Maranga Mai! Te Reo and Marae in crisis? Auckland: Auckland University Press.

Book chapters

Kawharu, M., 2010.  “Environment as marae .” In Selby, R., Moore, P., and Mulholland, M., (eds.), Kaitiaki: Māori and the Environment. Wellington: Huia, pp. 221-239.

Kawharu, M., with P. Tane, 2014. “Casting a new net: Connecting marae and te reo in the information age.” In Kawharu, M., (ed.), Maranga Mai! Te Reo and Marae in crisis?  Auckland: Auckland University Press, pp.187-209.

Kawharu, M., 2014. “Introduction.” In Kawharu, M., (ed.), Maranga Mai! Te Reo and Marae in crisis?  Auckland: Auckland University Press, pp. 7-15.

Peer-reviewed journal articles

Kawharu, M., Tapsell, P., and Woods, C., 2013. "Resistance and challenge: the shaping of indigenous entrepreneurship, a Māori context", Paper presented to Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management Conference, Hobart, 4-6 December 2013.

Kawharu, M., Tapsell, P. and Woods, C., 2012. “Māori entrepreneurial behaviour: Lachmannian insights.” Journal of Australian Indigenous Issues, 15(4), pp. 62-75.

Kawharu, M. with te Heuheu, T and Tuheiava, R., 2012. “World Heritage and Indigeneity: A Pacific Viewpoint.” In World Heritage Review issue n°62 on Indigenous People, Paris: UNESCO (In English, French and Spanish), pp.8-17.

Kawharu, M. 2009. “Ancestral landscapes and World Heritage from a Māori viewpoint.” In Journal of the Polynesian Society Vol 118 (4): 317-338.


Kawharu, M., 2008. ‘Community and Indigeneity. Exploring possibilities for World Heritage.’ A report prepared for the World Heritage Centre, UNESCO, Paris, pp. 1-27.


Presentation to Waitangi Tribunal August 2010. Te Paparahi o te Raki, Northland Inquiry District, Panguru. Summary: Te Tiriti and its Northern Context.

Kawharu, M., Tane, P, Tapsell, P and C. Woods, 2011. ‘Leadership and Indigenous Entrepreneurship.’ Peer-reviewed paper and presentation at the Inaugural Massey University Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Conference, 1-3 December, 2011.  Programme at http://sierc.massey.ac.nz/conference/documents/prog23-nov.pdf

Kawharu, M., 2012, ‘Maori leadership: Some challenges today.’ Presentation at Rauru 100th Year and Te Ara exhibition opening celebrations. Museum für Völkerkunde Hamburg, October 2012.

Kawharu, M., 2013. ‘Tangi Whenua’, opening statement on behalf of Pouerua ki Waitangi claimants, 5 March 2013, Waitangi Tribunal hearing, Waitangi.