Our people

Meet the members of the Dame Mira Szászy Research Centre and read about their research interests.

Director/Manutaki

Dr Rachel Maunganui Wolfgramm
Dr Rachel Maunganui Wolfgramm

Dr Rachel Maunganui Wolfgramm, PhD
Te Aupōuri, Ngāi Takoto, Whakatōhea, Ngāti Patumoana, Tonga

Dr Rachel Maunganui Wolfgramm: Rachel serves as Director/Manutaki for the Dame Mira Szászy Research Centre, University of Auckland Faculty of Business. She is also a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Management and International Business. She is of Te Aupōuri, Ngai Takoto and Whakatōhea descent and her heritage includes Vava’u Tonga, Europe and the United Kingdom.

Rachel has extensive experience in Ngā Huanga Mātauranga Māori and Sustainability research and education. She is currently Lead Principal Investigator of a Ngā Pae o te Maramatanga Whai Rawa (NZ CoRE) project examining Māori leadership and decision-making in economies of wellbeing.  Her research has been published in Human Relations, Journal of Business Ethics, Leadership, Alternative, An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples, Journal of Management Learning, Journal of Corporate Citizenship,  Māori and Indigenous Review, the International Journal of Sustainability and in books published by Cambridge University Press, Routledge, Chicago University Press,  Information Age and  Edward Elgar Publishing. She has experience as a lead editor and contributing editor in several special issues and is a reviewer for numerous international journals. She has presented her research at workshops, panels, symposia, wānanga and conferences in North and South America, UK, Europe, Asia Pacific, Australia and throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. Her doctoral, masters and honors supervisions focus on topics relating to Māori and indigenous leadership, business ethics, sustainability, leadership, distributive innovation, food and water security and food sovereignty.

Rachel has contributed sustained service and leadership in Māori and Pacific development
in the Faculty of Business including Director for Tuākana implementing a distinctive programme “Navigating Futures” and developing the Nga Pou e Rima Strategic Architecture. She was previously Acting Director of the Dame Mira Szászy Research Centre and initiated and led the Matakerepo programme for Māori and Pacific postgraduate, MBA, and doctoral students. Rachel continues to serve on the University of Auckland Māori Business Leaders Awards Steering Committee led by Anahera Morehu, Kaiārahi, He Manga
Tauhokohoko.

Rachel has also contributed leadership roles to Sustainability as co-chair of a VCSDF project promoting the Universitas 21 Statement of Sustainability and has served on numerous steering groups including the United Nations Habitat University Partnerships. She co-founded the Sustainability Research Group (SRG) in the Faculty of Business and is currently co-leading the MIB Resilience and Sustainability Collaborative Group. Outside of the University, Rachel is actively engaged in community service and creative projects as a Board/Trustee Member of Pou Kapua Creations. She has served as an Assessor/Lead Assessor for the Ministry of Business, Innovation
and Employment (MBIE 2016-present) as an evaluator and monitor with NZITP for
six years, is Lead Claimant for Rourou-The Māori Economy WAI 1920 and Lead
claimant for Te Whanau o Rangihaerepo WAI 1827. 

Rachel’s Maramatanga profile
Rachel’s University profile

Associates

Associate Professor Carla Houkamau, PhD
Ngāti Porou – Te Whānau o Tuwhakairiora, Ngāti Kahungunu – Ngāti Kere

Carla is an Associate Professor in the Department of Management and International Business. Carla is of Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāi Tahu and Pākehā descent. Her research focuses mainly on intergroup relations, chiefly how group memberships influence attitudes and behaviour. Her publications typically examine how ethnicity helps reproduce socio-economic inequalities but can be leveraged to address them.  Her research using the Multidimensional Model of Māori identity and Cultural Engagement (MMM-ICE) has been recognised nationally and internationally for advancing ethnic identity research using psychometric measures and large samples. Carla currently leads a nationwide longitudinal quantitative study on Māori financial attitudes, Te Rangahau o Te Tuakiri Māori me Ngā Waiaro ā-Pūtea | The Māori Identity and Financial Attitudes Study (MIFAS).

Read more about MIFAS  

Carla’s profile

Dr Kiri Mamai Dell

Kiri is a lecturer in the Graduate School of Management. Kiri's tribal affiliation is to Ngāti Porou. Her research focuses mainly on the realisation of Māori land aspirations. Kiri’s work crosses areas such as entrepreneurship, science and innovation, branding and marketing in global markets. She currently teaches Māori entrepreneurship at postgraduate level and an undergraduate course on Māori Land Issues. She is Director of Tuakana – Māori and Pacific academic success for the Auckland Business School. Kiri works extensively with indigenous communities across the globe. She is currently Chair of the Indigenous Caucus for the Academy of Management, a global community, and part of the advisory panel to the World Indigenous Business Forum, encouraging international conversation on indigenous economic development. Kiri is also director of The Nuka Institute, a specialist manuka and kanuka organisation working in collaboration with R&D, universities and industry to discover new and innovative products that extract value from native New Zealand bio resources for Māori land owners.​

Kiri’s profile

Associate Professor Christine Woods

Kiwi born and bred, Christine’s interest in entrepreneurship and the small to medium business sector (SMEs) was sparked after working in Malawi as a small business advisor. Instead of catching malaria she caught the entrepreneur bug, becoming "hooked" on the passion and energy that entrepreneurs bring to what they do. Christine is an Associate Professor  in Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the Faculty of Business and Economics at the University of Auckland. She teaches entrepreneurship to undergraduate and postgraduate students, and also Māori Entrepreneurship, a component of the Postgraduate Diploma in Māori Business. Her research interests are in the area of family business, SME growth, social entrepreneurship and Māori entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial behaviour.

Christine’s profile

Dr Billie Lythberg, PhD, GradDipArts

Billie is a Senior Research Fellow at the Dame Mira Szászy Research Centre, working at the junction of economics, history and anthropology. Her work, funded by commissions and contestable grants, examines notions of market and non-market economic exchange, where economy is understood as comprising ecological, kinship, aesthetic and relational wellbeings. A self-identified Pākehā, she collaborates with Māori to explore approaches to entrepreneurship and wellbeing consistent with mātauranga, and Māori–non-Māori partnership. A broader interest in Moana economies emerged from her doctoral research, which considered how Tongan decorated barkcloths materialise and perpetuate what might be called intellectual or cultural property but which in Tongan is known as koloa tukufakaholo (treasures to be handed down), and how such barkcloths are mobilised towards distinctly Tongan economic goals in both Tongan spheres of use and gift exchange and the fine art galleries and museums of the Tongan diaspora. Theories of economic anthropology and indigenous entrepreneurship were critical to her understanding and written presentation of the fieldwork she undertook in Tonga and Aotearoa New Zealand.

Billie’s profile

Dr Tyron Rakeiora Love BEd, PGDipBusAdmin, MMgt, PhD Te Ātiawa
(Te Whanganui-a-Tara)

Dr Tyron Love is a Senior Lecturer in Management at the University of
Auckland. Tyron is of Te Ātiawa (Te Whanganui-a-Tara) and Pākehā descent. After studying
at Victoria University (Wellington College of Education) and Massey University, he worked at Massey University, Murdoch University (Western Australia) and the University of Canterbury before joining the University of Auckland. He has university degrees in education, management and business. Tyron’s research interests lie at the intersection between Indigenous peoples and organizations. Studies on Indigenous business, entrepreneurship, leadership, and management have offered some interesting and valuable insights over the past few decades. Combined with the inspiring work emerging from Indigenous Studies (IS) and the stimulating writings of Critical Management Studies (CMS) and Organization Studies (OS) scholars, Tyron is interested in research which says something about the study of organizations and organizing insofar as they have relevance for Indigenous peoples and their communities. He is interested in research that is done in university business schools, the kind of research which considers Indigenous people at the centre and at the periphery of managing and organizing, the ongoing life and ‘functioning’ of organizations and the Indigenous people within and around them, and what workplaces and communities might look like when their organizing principles are based on indigenous knowledges and ways of doing things.

Tyron's profile