Associate Professor Leonie Pihama

Iwi: Te Ātiawa, Ngāti Māhanga, Ngā Māhanga a Tairi

Qualifications: BA (Hons), MA, PhD University of Auckland


About Leonie

Associate Professor Leonie Pihama is a mother of six and a grandmother of five. Leonie is Director of Te Kotahi Research Institute at the University of Waikato, and Director of Māori and Indigenous Analysis Ltd, a Kaupapa Māori research company. She has worked as an Associate Professor in Education at the University of Auckland teaching in the fields of policy analysis, Māori women's issues, and the politics of representation of indigenous peoples. Leonie is a leading kaupapa Māori educator and researcher. She has been working in the intersecting fields of education, health, whānau wellbeing and Maori immersion education for a number of decades. Leonie has worked on a broad range of Māori education research projects including:

  • Te Matataua o Te Reo: A national research agenda for the regeneration and revitalisation of Te Reo Māori, Report to He Puna Whakarauora, Te Taura Whiri i Te Reo.
  • Tiakina Te Pā Harakeke: Traditional views and practices of childrearing, Te Kotahi Research Institute
  • Marae-ā-kura: Teaching, learning and living as Māori
  • Ngā Hua a Tāne Rore: The benefits of kapahaka.  Matatini Inc & Ministry of Culture and Heritage
  • He Mokopuna He Tupuna: Investigating Māori Views of Childrearing Amongst Iwi In Taranaki, Tū Tama Wahine o Taranaki
  • Kia Puāwaitia Ngā Tūmanako,  NZCER
  • He Kaupapa Kōrero : Māori Researchers and Provider Views on the impact of Kaupapa Māori
  • Effective Teaching in Diverse Cultural Context. TLRI Project, New Zealand Council for Educational Research
  • Te Aratiatia Customary Wananga Curriculum Framework, Te Wānanga Komiti Matua Trust. Hoani Waititi Marae, Glen Eden
  • A Literature Review on Kaupapa Māori and Māori Education Pedagogy, ITPNZ, Wellington
  • Kaupapa Māori Principles And Practices: A Literature Review. IRI, in conjunction with Te Rōpu Rangahau Hauora ā Eru Pomare

Leonie has been a recipient the Hohua Tūtengaehe Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship (Health Research Council) and was the inaugural Fulbright-Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga Scholar Award (2011) at the Indigenous Wellness Research Institute, University of Washington. Leonie was also a former director of the International Research Institute of Māori and Indigenous Education and Director of Māori And Indigenous Analysis Ltd., an Independent Māori community research company.  Leonie has established a capacity building programme in collaboration with Dr Sarah Jane Tiakiwai, Director of Waikato-Tainui Research and Development College, which has supported Kaupapa Māori theory and research training for over 230 people in the past 2 years. Leonie is, as Director of Te Kotahi Research Institute, the host for the highly regarded 'He Manawa Whenua Indigenous Research Conference'. She has served on Māori Television's establishment board and worked in film and media production, and in late 2013, she was appointed as a Director on the Te Māngai Paho Board.  She has completed a Fulbright Scholarship with the University of Washington and has extensive expertise connecting her to a wide range of communities and iwi, which enables her to relate to people throughout Aotearoa New Zealand.

Leonie is Principal Investigator on the Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga research project 'Tiakina Te Pā Harakeke: Māori childrearing within a context of whānau ora. This project has made a significant impact in regards to making available a depth of traditional knowledge to those working in Early Childhood Education, Maori Education and Maori Providers working in Whānau Ora contexts.  She is also a co-Investigator on a Ministry of Education commissioned project 'The Transition Pathways of Tamariki between Māori medium ECE and Schooling'.  Leonie is also a member of the research advisory oversight group for the 'Te Kura Mai I Tawhiti: He Piki Raukura – Health and Wellbeing through the life course: Whānau early invention' project alongside Te Kopae Piripono (Taranaki) who are one of the Early Childhood Centres of Innovation. She was also Principal Investigator on the report commissioned by He Puna Whakarauora (Te Taura Whiri I Te Reo Maori)  'Te Matataua o Te Reo: A National Research Agenda for the Regeneration and Revitalisation of Te Reo Māori which makes a significant contribution to the future research strategy for te reo Māori.

Research Supervised

Doctoral theses
Current doctoral thesis supervision

  • Ngahuia Murphy (in progress)Lady of the Woven Light, Lady of the Tide: Hinateiwaiwa and the Ritual Knowledges of the Whare Tangata
  • Erena Wikaire (in progress) Māori participation in traditional Māori health practices
  • Sophronia J. Smith(in progress)
  • Kahutoi Te Kanawa (in progress) Holistic education, through intergenerational transfer of Māori weaving knowledge practices
  • Donna Campbell (in progress)
  • Sharon Toi (in progress)
  • Tawhanga Nopera (in progress) Huka can Haka: Taonga performing tino Rangatiratanga

Recent Publications

Find more research publications by Leonie Pihama

Contact Details

Name  Extn.  Username  Room  Department
Pihama, AProf Leonie 4618 lpihama 194H.G.09 Deputy Vice-Chancellor Maori
Pihama, AProf Leonie 4618 lpihama 194H.G.09 Te Kotahi Research Institute

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