Faculty of Arts - Māori Studies (Te Wānanga o Waipapa)

Professor Margaret Mutu

BSc, DipTchg, MPhil, PhD


Professor Margaret Mutu

Māori Studies (Te Wānanga o Waipapa), Te Wānanga o Waipapa - School of Māori Studies and Pacific Studies

Email: m.mutu@auckland.ac.nz

Extension: 87465 (ph + 64 9 373 7599)

16 Wynyard St
Room 205

Research interests

Te Tiriti o Waitangi and Māori claims against the Crown; Māori rights, sovereignty and constitutional transformation in Aotearoa New Zealand; oral traditions and histories of hapū and iwi of Ngāti Kahu, Te Rarawa and Te Hiku o te Ika (the Far North); translation studies; Māori resource management and conservation practices; Māori customary fisheries; the rating of Māori land; Māori-Chinese encounters; and Māori and Polynesian linguistics.


Current research

Margaret's immediate research interests are the settlement of Ngāti Kahu's claims against the Crown in order to provide Crown recognition of Ngāti Kahu ownership of all of their traditional territories and resources. This includes all Ngāti Kahu’s lands (including the foreshore and seabed), seas, waters, airways and minerals. Following the signing of an agreement in principle with the Crown in 2008, Margaret and a team of Ngāti Kahu researchers have been working on a full analysis of these claims which will be published by Ngāti Kahu as the Ngāti Kahu Deed of Settlement of Claims against the British Crown in 2011.

Margaret’s work on Māori rights draws on the oral traditions of her ancestors of Ngāti Kahu, Te Rarawa and Ngāti Whātua passed on to her by her elders and drawn on extensively for the successful claims against the Crown. These rights are recognised under tikanga Māori (Māori law) and in He Whakaputanga o te Rangatiratanga o Nu Tīreni (He Whakaputanga)/Declaration of Independence (1835), Te Tiriti o Waitangi (Te Tiriti) (1840) and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). Her most recent publication in this area is her book The State of Māori Rights (Huia Publishers, 2011).

The oral traditions of her ancestors are very clear in respect of Māori paramount authority and power (mana) over their lands, territories and themselves. The fact that Pākehā immigrants and then the British Crown chose to ignore this in order to take control of the country’s resources has drawn increasingly strident criticism from Māori, the Waitangi Tribunal and international bodies such as the United Nations. Margaret’s current research is drawing together her work and that of others in this area over the past 20 years for a chapter in an edited volume on the Māori history of Aotearoa.

Margaret’s interest in constitutional transformation in New Zealand follows on from her research on Māori rights. She is working with her own hapū and hapū and iwi from around the country in this area in order to develop the foundations for a written constitution for New Zealand based on tikanga Māori, He Whakaputanga, Te Tiriti and UNDRIP. This project will provide a series of papers and reports to the National Iwi Chairs’ Forum.

In the area of Māori resource management, Margaret has had a long term research interest in kaitiakitanga and a particular interest in the protection of wāhi tapu (sacred sites) from developers. Although the Resource Management Act provides protection in theory, in practice developers have still managed to destroy many wāhi tapu with devastating consequences for the hapū to whom the belong. Margaret’s research includes wāhi tapu of her own hapū as well as others in Te Taitokerau (the north) and has resulted in expert evidence provided to the courts and in book chapters.

Professor Margaret Mutu's Research

Postgraduate supervision

Maurice Alemann: "Impact of Legislation on Māori Land in Te Taitokerau"

Ian Hunter: "The many faces of ai"

Arapera Ngaha: "Māori attitudes to non-Māori speaking the Māori language"

Yvonne Sutherland: "19th century letters"

Joe Te Rito: "The marginalisation of the indigenous peoples of the Ōmāhu area in Heretaunga"

Beryl Woolford: "Inter-tribal relations and land loss in the northern King Country"

Te Aroha Rountree: "Hokianga Whakapau Karakia – the Māori response to Christian religions in Hokianga"

Kepa Morgan: "Māori concepts of sustainability"


Professor Margaret Mutu's Postgraduate Supervision

Recent publications

Mutu, Margaret, 2011. The State of Māori Rights. Wellington, Huia Publishers.

Mutu, Margaret, 2011. “Māori Issues 2009-2010” in The Contemporary Pacific A Journal of Island Affairs. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. Vol. 23, No. 1.

Mutu, Margaret. 2010. "Constitutional Intentions: The Treaty Text" in Mulholland, Malcolm and Veronica Tāwahi (eds). Weeping Waters, Wellington, Huia. pp 13-40.

Mutu, Margaret. 2010. "Ngāti Kahu Kaitiakitanga" in Malcolm Mulholland, Rachel Selby, Pataka Moore (eds). Māori and the Environment. Wellington, Huia. pp 13-36.

Mutu, Margaret. 2009. "Māori Media Depiction of Chinese: From Despised and Feared to Cultural and Political Allies" in Manying Ip (ed) The Dragon and the Taniwha. Auckland, Auckland University Press.

Mutu, Margaret. 2009. "The Role of History and Oral Traditions in the Recovery of Fagin’s Ill-gotten Gains: Settling Ngāti Kahu’s Claims against the Crown" in Te Pouhere Kōrero Journal: Māori History, Māori People.

Mutu, Margaret, 2007. "Recovery of the Māori Language". An invited keynote presentation published in Recovery of Indigenous Language: The Proceedings of the 2006 Austronesian Forum, Taiwan, National Pingtung University of Education.


Professor Margaret Mutu's Recent Publications

Recent conference presentations

Mutu, Margaret, 2010. "Recovering Ngāti Kahu’s lands from the Crown: Lands Administered by the Department of Conservation". Invited presentation at Te Pourewa Arotahi Symposium on Managing Post-Treaty of Waitangi Settlements, Wellington, 30 November 2010.

Mutu, Margaret, 2010. "Recovering and Developing Ngāti Kahu’s Health, Wealth and Prosperity". Invited keynote presentation to Māori Mai, Māori Atu: Grass Roots Oranga Hui for Ngā Ngaru Hauora: The National Māori Health Providers, Rotorua, 12 August 2010.

Mutu, Margaret, 2010. "Recovering and Developing Ngāti Kahu’s Prosperity: A Case Study in New Zealand Māori Future Planning". Presentation to the European Society for Oceanists 2010 Conference, University of St Andrews, Scotland, 7 July 2010.

Mutu, Margaret, 2010. "The National Iwi Chairs’ Forum". The Opening Keynote presentation to the Hui-ā-iwi mō Te Arawa Lakes Trust, Rotorua, 20 April 2010.

Mutu, Margaret, 2010, and Te Kani Williams. "Settling Ngāti Kahu’s Claims Against the Crown". Opening Keynote presentation to He Hui-ā-Iwi o Ngāti Kahu in Redfern, Sydney, 30 March, and repeated at Casula, Sydney, 31 March, and Brisbane, 1 May 2010.

Mutu, Margaret, 2010. "Constitutional Transformation". Invited Keynote presentation to the Māori Colloquium on Constitutional Change held at Waipapa Marae, University of Auckland, 19 February 2010.

Mutu, Margaret, 2010. "The Māori Roots of a Multicultural New Zealand". Invited Opening Keynote Presentation to the Fourth New Zealand Chinese Association Leadership and Development Conference, Lower Hutt, 24 January 2010.

Mutu, Margaret, 2009. "Rehabilitating Fagin and Recovering His Ill-gotten Gains". An invited keynote presentation to the Challenging Land Loss: Indigenous Legal and Political responses to Land-grabbing International Conference, La Trobe University, Melbourne, 15 August 2009.

Mutu, Margaret, 2009. "A History of Māori Studies at the University of Auckland, New Zealand". An invited keynote presentation published in the Proceedings of the International Symposium on Indigenous Peoples’ Education and Policies, Taiwan, National Dong Hwa University, Hualien, 30 April-2 May 2009.

Current teaching

Course Title Availability in 2014
MĀORI  101 Introduction to Written Māori Summer School, repeated Semester 2
MĀORI  301 Reo Māori Tuhituhi Semester 2
MĀORI  397 Pae Tahi: Special Study in Māori Studies Not offered in 2014.
MĀORI  700 Reo Māori: Topic in Māori Language Semester 2
MĀORI  712 Whakareo Kē: Translation of Māori Literature Semester 2
MĀORI  732 Rangatiratanga Semester 2
MĀORI  742 Kaupapa Hōu: Special Topic Availability to be advised

Professor Margaret Mutu's Teaching

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