The University of Waikato - Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato
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Waikato Women Professors


Professor Ngahuia Te Awekotuku

Role: Professor of Maori Research & Development


Research Expertise

  • Death Studies – Māori, Pacific, indigenous
  • Heritage Issues – repatriation, curatorship, exhibition, intellectual/cultural property
  • Ethics  and methodologies in indigenous research
  • Māori and indigenous notions of gender and sexuality
  • Māori and Pacific Art

Teaching Areas/Programmes

  • Tangi Research Programme: Death, grief and dying in the Māori world
  • Ethics and methodologies in indigenous research
  • Māori heritage issues
  • Ta Moko: culture, body modification and the psychology of identity, 2001-2005

Academic and Professional Leadership Roles

  • Chair, Te Waka Toi Māori Arts Board of Creative New Zealand, Aug. 2006-June 2009
  • Member of the Council of Creative New Zealand, August 2000 - July 2006   
  • NZ Government Delegate to the 12th and 13th  Sessions of the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore, WIPO, United Nations, Geneva, Switzerland, February & October 2008 
  • Head of Delegation, Aotearoa/New Zealand, Pacific Festival of Arts, Pagopago, American Samoa, July - August 2008   
  • NZ Government Delegate to the United Nations Alliance of Civilisations High-Level Symposium on Interfaith Dialogue, May 2007


  • Le Prix littéraire étudiant 2011, L'Université de la Polynésie français. Students' Award, best text for 2011, University of French Polynesia, for Mau Moko: The World of Māori Tattoo
  • Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Māori culture, 2010
  • Winner  of the Inaugural Māori Book of the Decade Award for Mau Moko: The World of Māori Tattoo, September 2009 
  • Montana Book Award: Lifestyle and Contemporary Culture Category Winner for Mau Moko: The World of Māori Tattoo, July 2008
  • Fulbright Travel Award to Philadelphia USA, December 2004

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