Professor Roger CA Maaka


Professor of Māori and Indigenous Studies, Dean, Te Uranga Waka


Areas of Teaching

Māori Knowledge and Development


PhD (Canterbury), B.A. (Hons), NZIM Supervision Certificate.


06 974 8000




My original research contribution to Māori Knowledge & Development has been in two main areas, urbanisation and tribalisation.  Urbanisation as a phenomenon has received little serious attention outside of the work Joan Metge in the 1960s. There has been a tendency to treat urbanization as the antithesis of traditional Māori life even though 80% of Māori live in an urban situation. My research has analysed what urbanisation has done to and for Māori and how it has reshaped Māori society. As such, I believe this writing to be unique. In terms of tribalisation, I argue that the whanau, hapū, iwi model first proposed by Raymond Firth as traditional has become reified and it is this structuralist model that forms the basis for contemporary tribal organizations and the quest for groups formerly understood as hapū to seek the status of iwi.  I believe that this is also a unique approach to understanding Māori tribalisation.  In 2003 I took the position of Head of Native Studies at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada.  With this relocation my intellectual horizons were considerably broadened and placing my work in another national framework and I began developing theories on Indigeneity and Indigenous, this work continues today.

Back in Aotearoa, I have much intellectual property invested in the Wai 262 (the Indigenous Flora and Fauna and Intellectual Property Claim) Waitangi Tribunal Report which has much to say about Matauranga Maori in a different form.  My ideas percolate throughout this significant and influential report which looks 20 years into the future.

Much of the research I have been involved with over the past six years has produced findings that contribute to policy development and to bringing about positive change for indigenous peoples.   During this period I have undertaken research as part of collaborative international studies, led research teams in both Canada and New Zealand and provided qualitative research expertise on several global research studies and research panels.

For example see: Maaka, R., & Fleras, A. (2008). Contesting Indigenous Peoples Governance: The Politics of State-Determination vs. Self-Determining Autonomy. In  Y. Belanger (Ed.), Aboriginal Self-government in Canada Current Trends and Issues (3rd ed., pp.69-104). Saskatoon, Canada: Purich Publishing.

Research outputs 2014

Maaka, R. (2014, June). Co-governance: Perceptions, politics, and pragmatism: Local Māori engagement with local government. In Resource governance: Indigenous rights in a global economy. Public forum conducted at the Rise of the Fourth World: The Internationalization of Indigenous Rights Conference, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

Peters, E. J., Maaka, R. C. A., & Laliberté, R. F. (2014). "I'm sweating with Cree culture not Saulteaux culture": Urban aboriginal cultural identities. In F. Trovato & A. Romaniuk (Eds.), Aboriginal populations: Social, demographic and epidemiological perspectives (pp. 285-302). Edmonton, Canada: University of Alberta Press.

Research outputs 2012

Maaka, R., & Gonzales, C. (2012, June). "The last full-blooded one died in. . . .”: The invisible indigenous peoples. Paper presented at the Fourth Annual Meeting of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association, Uncaseville, CT, USA.

Maaka, R. (2012, July). Articulating Aotearoa. Paper presented at He Rau Tumu Korero, Maori Historians’ Symposium, Napier, New  Zealand.

Maaka, R. (2012, September). Transforming the ‘c’s from comparative to critical, indigenous studies and the politics of indigeneity. Paper presented at the Indigenous Studies Research Network 2012 Annual Symposium, Brisbane, Australia.

Maaka, R. (2012). Indigeneity and locating indigenous peoples: To all our relations: Ki ō tātau karangataha maha. In C. de Zegher & G. McMaster (Eds.), In all our relations: 18th Biennale of Sydney (pp. 365-370). Sydney, Australia: Biennale of Sydney

Research outputs 2011

Maaka, R. (2011, July). Indigeneity as an analytical framework for locating indigenous peoples in society. Keynote paper presented at the 3rd Native Studies Research Network UK Conference, Canterbury, England.

Research outputs 2009

Fleras, A., & Maaka, R. (2009). Indigeneity-grounded analysis (IGA ) as policy(-making) paradigm: New Zealand models, Canadian realities. International Indigenous Policy Journal, 1(1). Available from http://

Maaka, R., & Fleras, A. (2009, Fall). Mainstreaming indigeneity by indigenizing policymaking: Towards an indigenous grounded analysis framework as policy paradigm. Indigenous Policy Journal. Available from by-indigenizing-policymaking-towards-an-indigenousgrounded- analysis-framework-as-policy-paradigm/

Maaka, R. (2009, March). Indigenous issues in urban areas. Presented at the UNPFII & Un-Habitat sponsored experts workshop at the Aboriginal Policy Research Conference, Ottawa, Canada.

Maaka, R. (2009, May). Native Studies in North America - A view from the Pacific. Paper presented at the First Meeting of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association, Minneapolis, MN.

Maaka, R. (2009, October). The tale of twin cities: An evaluation of Māori focused initiatives in Hastings and Napier. Presented at Indigenous Urbanization Internationally: Population, Community and Identity, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada.

Maaka, R. (2009, December). An indigenous research protocol. Presented at the International Hui on Indigenous Research and Systemic Change, Honolulu, HI.

Maaka, R. (2009, July). Kei te ora te Tiriti, mo ake tonu atu. Hastings District Council, Korongata marae, Bridge Pa, New Zealand.

Maaka, R. (2009, October). Indigeneity: As a conceptual framework for positioning ourselves in a globalised society. University of California Davis, CA.

Maaka, R. (2009, November). Challenges for contemporary Māori Governance. Heretaunga Taiwhenua Board of Trustees, Hastings, New Zealand.

Maaka, R. (2009, November). Māori leadership for the future. Māori Leadership Programme, Hastings Boys' High School, New Zealand.

Maaka R. (2009, November). Taumata K?wanatanga, Taumata Māori. Four presentations at the ERMA & Nga Kaihautu Māori Perspective Training, Tapu te Ranga marae, Wellington, New Zealand.