Richard Benton - Honorary Lecturer

Dip.Tchg. NZ Dept of Ed BA AuckMA PhD (Linguistics) Hawaii

Richard Benton studied History at the University of Auckland (BA 1960) and aspects of Northern Māori tradition and political history under the guidance of some senior traditional experts before completing an MA (1968) and PhD (1972) in Linguistics at the University of Hawaii (Mānoa). After finishing his doctoral fieldwork he spent a year in Sulu, Philippines (1970-1) as a consultant on social science education at Notre Dame of Jolo College. He then spent 25 years with the New Zealand Council for Educational Research (1971-1996) and wrote and lectured extensively in New Zealand and internationally on language policy, bilingual education and related matters, with a focus on the status of local and international languages in education and government. He was also one of the New Zealand representatives to the Polynesian Languages Forum. He received the McKenzie Award for Educational Research from the NZ Association for Research in Education in 1989, and in 1991 he was Sumi Mackey Alumni Fellow at the East West Center. More recently he has been Deputy Director of the Centre for Maaori Studies and Research of the University of Waikato (1996-1999), Director of the James Henare Māori Research Centre at the University of Auckland (1999-2003), and Adjunct Professor with Te Mātāhauariki Institute at the University of Waikato (2004-7). He was President of the Polynesian Society from 2010-2021, and a member of the Council of the Society and of the International Advisory Panel of Terralingua. Since joining the University of Waikato he has been involved in researching the concepts and philosophy underpinning Māori customary law, and the development of a new jurisprudence integrating these with modern Aotearoa / New Zealand legal theory and practice. He has also continued researching and writing about Māori language issues, the relevance of Māori customary legal and cultural concepts to contemporary New Zealand law and administration, and assisting with projects to advance the revitalization of te reo Māori.

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Email: [email protected]