Dr Naomi Simmonds


Qualifications: BSocSci (Hons), MSocSci Waikato

Iwi: Raukawa

School of Social Sciences


About Naomi

I completed my Masters thesis in 2009 which looks at contemporary understandings and relationships with Papatuanuku. My PhD extends this work to examine the spatial, spiritual and embodied experiences of childbirth and maternity in Aotearoa New Zealand. My PhD is titled "Tu te turuturu no Hineteiwaiwa: Mana Geographies of Birth in Aoteroa New Zealand.

I also have experience in, and a passion for, Maori environmental management and sustainability practices. I am committed to working with whanau, hapu and iwi to support them in achieving their kaitiaki aspirations.


Maori geography; resource management and planning; mana wahine; kaupapa Maori; indigenous maternities; indigenous resource management

Research Interests

My research interests include Maori and Indigenous geographies, Maori resource management, hapu and iwi sustainability initiatives, Kaupapa Maori theory and methodologies, mana wahine, childbirth and maternity care, matauranga wahine and traditional histories for whanau well-being.

Recent Publications

  • Adams-Hutcheson, G., & Simmonds, N. (2017). Strategies for teaching gender in geography. In Women Gender Geography Research Network (WGGRN) Symposium. Conference held at University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand. Open Access version: hdl:10289/10940

  • Simmonds, N., Kukutai, T., & Ryks, J. (2016). Here to stay: Reshaping the regions through mana Māori. In P. Spoonley (Ed.), Rebooting the Regions: Why low or zero growth needn’t mean the end of prosperity (pp. 79-105). Wellington, New Zealand: Massey University Press. Retrieved from

  • Simmonds, N., & Gabel, K. (2016). Ūkaipō: Decolonisation and Māori maternities. In J. Hutchings, & J. Lee-Morgan (Eds.), Decolonisation in Aotearoa: Education, Research and Practice (pp. 145-157). Wellington, New Zealand: NZCER Press.

  • Simmonds, N. (2016). Transformative maternities: Indigenous stories as resistance and reclamation in Aotearoa New Zealand. In M. Robertson, & P. Tsang (Eds.), Everyday Knowledge, Education and Sustainable Futures: Transdisciplinary Research in the Asia/Pacific Region (Vol. 30, pp. 71-88). Singapore: Springer.

View all research publications by Naomi Simmonds

Papers Taught

Associations and Memberships

  • Board member of the Indigenous Peoples Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers.

Contact Details

Name  Extn.  Username  Room  Department
Simmonds, Dr Naomi 9159 naomis I.2.14 Geography Programme