Associate Professor Carl TH Mika

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Qualifications: PhD, MIS, LLB

Iwi: Tuhourangi, Ngati Whanaunga

About Carl

Nga mihi nui ki a koutou.

My iwi affiliations are (among others) Tuhourangi and Ngati Whanaunga.

I completed my PhD thesis in German Studies in 2013. The title of the thesis is 'Reclaiming mystery: A Māori notion of Being, in light of Novalis' ontology'. Since the thesis, I have become increasingly fascinated with an indigenous theory of clarity/obscurity, and in 2017  I won a Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia Book Award for my book titled 'Indigenous Education and the Metaphysics of Presence: A worlded philosophy', published by Routledge.

I come from a background in law, indigenous and Maori studies, and have developed a knowledge base in Western philosophy (especially metaphysics, existentialism and phenomenology). My current research interests are in the representation of philosophy as political act for indigenous peoples, and indigenous philosophical theorising generally. I co-convene the Indigenous Philosophy Group (Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia), was co-editor of the journals Knowledge Cultures and Contemporary Readings in Law and Social Justice and am associate editor of Online Journal of World Philosophies.

I also have an interest in research methods and methodologies (particularly those which relate to philosophical approaches), and incorporated those interests into my former role as co-chair of the Faculty of Education Ethics Committee.

I am Director of the Centre for Global Studies, University of Waikato, and am Adjunct Professor of RMIT.

I enjoy supervising masters and doctoral students from diverse backgrounds and disciplines.

Papers Taught

Research Supervised



  • Green, J. A. (2018). Indigenous knowledges in health policy in Aotearoa New Zealand and Saskatchewan Canada: A comparative study. PhD, Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Studies, The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand.
  • Palmer, F. (2016). Papakāinga Development: Negotiating on Contested ground, Māori self-determination and assertion of tino rangatiratanga in building sustainable communities. PhD, Te Ara Poutama, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland. External supervisor.

Currently enrolled

  • Southey, K. Rangatahi rights of informed consent in selecting mental health therapies. School of Philosophy, Co-chief supervisor.
  • Heaton, S. Kia whai kikokiko te whare tapa whā: Reconstructing a ‘whare’ body of knowledge to inform future ‘hauora’ developments. Faculty of Education. Recipient of 2014 Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia Award.
  • Green, A. Mātauranga Māori in Sexual and Reproductive Health Policy in New Zealand: Lessons from a Comparative Policy Study. Faculty of Maori and Indigenous Studies.
  • Chalmers, J. Young Maori and sexuality. PhD thesis, Te Hononga, Faculty of Education.
  • Hossein, S. Negotiating knowledge transitions: Iranian PhD candidacy in New Zealand. Faculty of Education.
  • Hayes, S. Imaginary Friends. Faculty of Education.
  • Novak, R. The pedagogical potential of virtual reality. PhD thesis, Division of Education, The University of Waikato.
  • Matapo, J. Reimagining leadership in Pasifika Education and Research. Faculty of Education. Auckland University of Technology. External supervisor.
  • Kim, H. The Hallyu phenomenon as a new logic of globalisation: Cultural hybridity, identity and implications for education. PhD thesis, Division of Education, The University of Waikato.
  • Cameron-Lewis, V. A new feminist materialist reading of sexuality education in New Zealand secondary schools. Faculty of Education, University of Auckland. Recipient of 2016 Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia Award. External supervisor.
  • Paki, V. How does children’s understanding of kaitiakitanga (guardianship) enhance their wellbeing. EdD, Division of Education, The University of Waikato.
  • Lemon, K. What are the nuances of taha wairua in education? PhD, Division of Education, The University of Waikato.
  • Hireme, J. Whakapapa Sensing: An Indigenous Gesture Towards Possibilities for Decolonial Futures. PhD thesis, Oulu University, Finland. External supervisor.

Masters thesis/dissertation supervision


I have supervised several masters theses and dissertations, as well as summer internships, on various themes.

Research Interests

Research projects

Current - named investigator

  • Honour Aotearoa Project. Hosted by Te Kotahi Research Institute, University of Waikato. Health Research Council. Principal Investigators: Assoc. Prof. Leonie Pihama, Dr. Alison Green
  • Understanding Indigenous ethics and wholism within academic and Aboriginal community research settings. Funded by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), Canada. Principal Investigator: Associate Professor Michelle Pidgeon, Simon Fraser University, Canada.

Recent Publications

  • Arndt, S., Bengsten, S., Mika, C., & Nørgård, R. (2021). Spaces of life: Transgressions in conceptualising the World Class University. In S. Rider, M. Peters, M. Hyvönen, & T. Besley (Eds.), World Class Universities. Evaluating Education: Normative Systems and Institutional Practices (pp. 251-267). Singapore: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-981-15-7598-3_15

  • Mika, C. (2021). The Māori more-than-human: Rethinking sovereignty. In AURA 2020: Sovereign Pacific / Pacific Sovereigns.

  • Mika, C. (2021). When nothingness revokes certainty: A Māori speculation. In B. Hokowhitu, A. Moreton-Robinson, L. Tuhiwai-Smith, C. Anderson, & S. Larkin (Eds.), Routledge Handbook of Critical Indigenous Studies,. Taylor & Francis Group.

  • Mika, C. (2021). Indigenous Notions of Interconnection and Formation by the World. doi:10.1093/acrefore/9780190264093.013.1558

Find more research publications by Carl Mika


Education; Globalisation; Indigenous Rights; Law; Maori; Philosophy