Mike is primarily interested in knowledge born out of cultural contact and colonisation in the long nineteenth-century. His PhD thesis, which drew on scholarship from the new imperial history, ethnohistory, economic history, the history of science, and religious history, examined changes and continuities in southern Kāi Tahu thought and practice as illustrated by te hopu tītī ki Rakiura—“muttonbirding”—the annual harvesting of juvenile tītī (sooty shearwaters) from islands adjacent to Stewart Island in southern New Zealand. Mike is currently reworking some of this research into a general narrative history. His more theoretical work on the other hand, much of which extends the idea of Māori modernities, is being reworked into a series of academic journal articles.
- http://ngaitahu.iwi.nz/tag/dr-michael-stevens/ 11 September 2016
http://www.otago.ac.nz/historyarthistory/staff/otago036860.html 11 September 2016
- "Kāi Tahu me te Hopu Tītī ki Rakiura: An exception to the 'Colonial Rule'?" Journal of Pacific History 41.3 (2006): 273-291.
- "Maori land owners and their spouses and partners" New Zealand Law Journal, (October 2007): 325-326.
- Co-author J. Ruru.
- "Kāi Tahu writing and cross-cultural communication." Journal of New Zealand Literature 28.2 (2010): 130-157.
- "‘The ocean is our only highway and means of communication’: Maritime culture in colonial southern New Zealand." Journal of New Zealand Studies 12 (2011): 155-167.
- "“What's in a name?”: Murihiku, colonial knowledge-making, and “thin-culture" Journal of the Polynesian Society 120.4 (2011): 333-347.
- "Roasted muttonbird: Roast tītiī." A taste of islands: 60 recipes and stories from our world of islands. Ed. A. Baldacchino and G. Baldacchino. Charlottetown, Canada: Island Studies Press, 2012.
- "Settlements and 'Taonga': A Ngai Tahu commentary." Treaty of Waitangi settlements. Ed. N. R. Wheen and J. Hayward. Wellington, N.Z: Bridget Williams Books, 2012.
- "Ngāi Tahu and the 'nature' of Māori modernity." Making a new land: Environmental histories of New Zealand. Ed. E. Pawson and T. Brooking. Dunedin, N.Z.: Otago University Press, 2013.
- "An intimate knowledge of 'Maori and mutton-bird': Big Nana's story." Journal of New Zealand Studies 14 (2013): 106-121.
- "Te Hopu Tītī ki Rakiura: 'Fat meat for the winter." Tangata Whenua: An illustrated history. Ed. A. Anderson, J. Binney and A. Harris. Wellington, N.Z.: Bridget Williams Books, 2014.
- "Pōhā: A clever way to store food." School journal: Level 2. Wellington, N.Z.: Ministry of Education (2014): 24-32.
- "Jarring views of colonialism." Neil Pardington: The order of things. Ed. E. Rankin. Auckland, N.Z.: Baker+Dougla, 2015.
- "Māori political history 1860-1960." New Zealand government and politics. Ed. J. Hayward (6th ed.). Melbourne, Australia: Oxford University Press, 2015.
- "'Pōua's cloak': The Haberfield family kahu kiwi." The lives of colonial objects. Ed. A. Cooper, L. Paterson and A. Wanhalla. Dunedin, N.Z.: Otago University Press. (2015): 253-258.
- "A 'useful' approach to Māori history." New Zealand Journal of History 49.1 (2015): 54-77.