Annabel Ahuriri-Driscoll

Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Kahungunu

Annabel Ahuriri-Driscoll has been actively working as a Māori/public health researcher for 20 years. With her Master’s degree in public health, she has been involved in research relating to Māori advancement including traditional Māori healing and Māori community, iwi and hapū development. Annabel has a PhD in Health Sciences, investigating the relation of identity construction to transformative action. 

Angus Macfarlane

Professor Angus Macfarlane

Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Rangiwewehi

Professor Angus Macfarlane’s most recent distinctions include; receiving the Manaakitanga Award in 2020 (with Associate Professor Sonja Macfarlane) for extending an ethic of care within and beyond the academy, receiving the Life Membership Award at the New Zealand Association of Research in Education (NZARE) annual conference in 2019 and receiving the University of Canterbury Students’ Association Supervisor of the Year Award in 2017. His many subjects of interest and expertise include Māori and Indigenous advancement in education and psychology.


Benita Rarere-Briggs

Benita Rarere-Briggs

Benita Rarere-Briggs’ writing and research interests are currently centred on children with disabilities and access and participation in early childhood educational settings. Her other areas of research interest include; inclusive education in early childhood and culturally inclusive pedagogies.

Professor Gail Gillon

Professor Gail Gillon

Ngāi Tahu

Professor Gail Gillon is involved in many research projects that focus on understanding the relationship between spoken and written language development and the importance of children’s phonological awareness to reading and spelling development. Some of her active projects include: The effectiveness of phonological awareness interventions in facilitating early literacy success and engaging children’s early oral language and literacy development.

James Graham - Imported from Spark

Dr James Graham

Ngāti Kahungunu

Dr James Graham has a background in Māori education and has a passion for positive contributions to Māori advancement. His PhD thesis is titled, Whakatangata kia kaha - Toitū te whakapapa, toitū te tuakiri, toitū te mana: An examination of the contribution of Te Aute College to Māori advancement. It examines how the esteemed institute has supported valued aspects of Māoridom over the years. James’ other research interests and expertise is guided by a strong Māori worldview.

head shot photo of Janinka Greenwood

Professor Janinka Greenwood

Professor Janinka Greenwood’s research stems from her work as an educator and an artist. It is based on interconnected areas such as: education, development, community engagement, the arts, and the intercultural spaces where these take place. Her research across education and cross-cultural perspectives has led to further examination of particular methodologies such as practitioner research and action research. Janinka’s other areas of interest include bicultural education, intercultural studies and Māori education.

Jen Smith staff photo

Jen Smith

Ngāti Whātua

Jen Smith is a lecturer in Māori education at UC and is a former primary school teacher. Her main research interest is centred on her doctoral study of the creation of culturally safe schools for Māori teachers as well as giving cultural tools to create exception educational environments for all. Her other research topics include socio-cultural approach to education, inclusive cultural pedagogy and culturally responsive and competent approaches to teaching and learning for diverse learners.

Jody Hohaia - Imported from Spark

Jody Hohaia

Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Raukawa, Waikato-Tainui

Jody Hohaia has taught in numerous Christchurch primary and high schools over the past 15 years. Her last teaching role was managing Te Kaupapa Whakaora Alternative Education Secondary School. Jody completed a Master of Education (MEd) with First Class Honours in 2017 and looks forward to starting work towards her Doctor of Education (EdD) at the University of Canterbury.

Jo Fletcher - Imported from Spark

Associate Professor Jo Fletcher

Associate Professor Jo Fletcher has a passion for improving outcomes for all learners and it remains central to her research and postgraduate supervisions. Jo’s earlier research primarily focused on literacy achievement and overall learning support of Pasifika students.  Her other subjects of interest and expertise include; literacy acquisition, educational leadership in reading and practices of sustenance for Māori.

Kari Moana Kururangi photo

Kari Moana Kururangi

Ngāi Tahu, Kāti Māmoe, Waitaha

Kari Moana Kururangi joined the UC team early in 2020 following her previous role as kaiako and school board member at Te Pā o Rākaihautu in Christchurch. Kari is a graduate of the Master of Māori and Indigenous Leadership (MMIL), an applied professional programme dedicated to supporting the advancement of Māori and Indigenous self-determination. With her knowledge and experience in supporting reo and tikanga in education, Kari has settled in well as a permanent lecturer and a valuable addition to our Māori staff.

Kay-Lee Jones

Kay-Lee Jones

Te Aitanga a Māhaki, Ngāti Porou, Ngāi Tahu

Kay-Lee Jones has worked as a primary school teacher in a number of Māori medium settings throughout Christchurch, including in a Level 2 immersion classroom. This role was in conjunction with her position as deputy principal. Kay-Lee has recently completed a Master of Education (MEd) and looks forward to completing her doctorate. Kay-Lee was the proud recipient of a prestigious Ako Aotearoa, 2020 Tertiary Teaching Excellence Award, one of only nine awarded nationally.

Matiu Ratima

Dr Matiu Ratima

Whakatōhea, Ngāti Pukeko

Dr Matiu Ratima's PhD research examines the factors that influence the development of proficiency in te reo Māori amongst adult learners. He has also published work on Māori academic development and the learning of te reo Māori and culturally responsive teaching in New Zealand schools. Matiu is a qualitative researcher currently working on a series of books to help teachers develop cultural competencies and mana enhancing strategies for better learner engagement.

Melissa Derby standing in front of a wooden wall

Melissa Derby

Ngāti Ranginui

Melissa Derby is employed as a Lecturer in Te Kura Toi Tangata, the School of Education at the University of Waikato, Tauranga campus. She is also working with the Ministry of Education and her iwi to develop resources that support early literacy improvement. Melissa remains involved in projects of interest here at the University of Canterbury.

Nathan Riki staff photo

Nathan Riki


Nathan Riki joined the UC team earlier in 2020 following his previous role at Christchurch’s Breens Intermediate as a kaitautoko in the senior leadership team. With valued experience in developing cultural responsiveness school-wide, Nathan’s role here in the School of Teacher Education is not only to teach into the reo aspects of the programmes, but to also support some of the teaching in the Masters space.

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Dr Rachel Martin

Waitaha, Kāti Mamoe, Ngāi Tahu

Dr Rachel Martin’s research is inclusive of culturally and linguistically sustaining te tiriti based frameworks for all participants. Her research interests are based on making a difference for Māori communities. Rachel completed her PhD in 2017 which investigated how parents who are second language learners and speakers of te reo Māori nurture their children as Māori in the region of Christchurch. Her other areas of interest include Māori education and te reo Māori on-line learning.

headshot of Richard manning

Dr Richard Manning

Dr Richard Manning has been the recipient of various academic awards and scholarships, including a prestigious New Zealand Top Achiever Doctoral Scholarship. This was awarded by the New Zealand Foundation for Research, Science and Technology. Richard is particularly interested in researching how critical and indigenous pedagogies of place can be applied to support inter-disciplinary efforts to address traumatic histories, including the many issues regarding te tiriti o Waitangi.

Sonja Macfarlane

Associate Professor Sonja Macfarlane

Ngāti Waewae, Ngāi Tahu

Associate Professor Sonja Macfarlane’s most recent distinctions include; receiving the Manaakitanga Award in 2020 (with Dr Angus Macfarlane) for extending an ethic of care within and beyond the academy, presenting the Jean Herbison Keynote Lecture at the New Zealand Association of Research in Education (NZARE) annual conference in 2019 and being the recipient of the national NZARE Te Tohu Pae Tawhiti Award in 2017 for outstanding contributions to Māori research. Her many subjects of interest and expertise include Māori and Indigenous success in education.


Dr Susannah Stevens

Dr Susannah Stevens

Dr Susannah Stevens is the manager for the UC Child Well-being Research Institute and is subsequently interested in research on well-being. Her research focuses on how learning occurs with the whole body, not just the mind. Susannah’s PhD thesis has developed pedagogy for movement pleasure. She currently works with schools, national bodies, government groups and international organisations; sharing expertise in the areas of physical activity, well-being and the learning environments in which they are situated.

Te Hurinui Karaka-Clarke - Imported from Spark

Te Hurinui Clarke

Te Arawa, Ngāi Tahu

Te Hurinui Clarke’s current research projects focus on factors that affect the retention of students in senior te reo Māori programmes in mainstream secondary schools. Some of his most recent published work include Pōwhiri: A ritual of encounter framework for engaging with whānau and Ngā Whenu Ranga Tahi: drawing from Māori principles of wellbeing: transforming online synchronous teaching and learning of Te Reo Māori.

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Toni Torepe

Ngāi Tahu

Toni Torepe has a particular interest in Māori educator experiences in Eurocentric education. Her thesis, due for completion in 2021, is titled Cultural Myth or Workplace Reality? and explores the lived experiences of Māori tertiary academics working in Eurocentric institutions in Aotearoa. This interest also extends internationally to the experiences of Indigenous educators and ethnic minor academics. Toni’s other subjects of interest include Māori Knowledge and Development and Teacher Education.

Tufulasi Taleni

Tufulasi Taleni 


Following a career as a teacher, in 2016 Tufulasi took up a role as the Kaiarahi Pasifika for UC College of Education Health & Human Development. He holds an active leadership role in the Government’s 10-year National Science Challenge A Better Start: E Tipu e Rea and is a member of the NZQA Taupulega Pasifika Advisory Group. Tufulasi’s Master’s research has been regarded as clear evidence of his ability to anchor his thesis in the field of Pasifika education, an area he is very passionate about.

Wally Penetito

Adjunct Professor Dr Wally Penetito


Dr Wally Penetito is a retired public servant and professor of Māori education from Victoria University in Wellington. His background is in teaching, sociology of education and the history of developments (theory, policy and practice in Māori education). Wally’s research interests include Place-Based Education as an emancipatory strategy linking indigenous studies, social justice and ecological questions and the influence of power relations on these.