Rawinia Higgins

Ngāti Tūhoe

Professor Rawinia Higgins is the Head of School of Te Kawa a Māui, School of Māori Studies and Assistant Vice-Chancellor Māori Research at Victoria University. She is Co-Principal Investigator of Te Kura Roa (with Associate Professor Poia Rewi, a three year Ngā Pae o Te Māramatanga funded Pae Tawhiti Initiative that examines the value of the Māori Language. She leads Whaihua, the Community project in collaboration with Te Ataarangi and Te Kōhanga Reo. She served on the governance boards of Te Kotahi a Tūhoe and the Tūhoe Fisheries Charitable Trust. She is currently a board member of Te Māngai Pāho and is a member of the Waitangi Tribunal. She is currently the Chair of the Māori Language Advisory Group to the Minister of Māori Development and the NZQA review of Māori Language Qualifications. She is also a member of the advisory group for the Treaty of Waitangi Settlements' History project for the Ministry of Culture and Heritage and an executive member of MASS, Māori Association of Social Science.

Professor Higgins studied at Victoria University and completed her post-graduate degrees at the University of Otago. Her MA thesis was written in te reo Māori and examined the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren and her PhD thesis examined the identity politics of moko kauae. Her research is entrenched in Māori Studies with a particular focus on the language and culture. Using these cultural paradigms, her work highlights the value of the language and Māori knowledge within modern academic discourse.

Biographical sources

  • http://www.tehonongapukenga.ac.nz/user/250 4 November 2016


  • "'Another chapter in our history' : Reflections on the events at Rūātoki, 15 October 2007." Terror in our midst? : searching for terror in Aotearoa New Zealand. Wellington, N.Z.: Huia, 2008.
  • "E moe te mata hī aua, e ara te mata hī tuna." Muka, Rau 26.4 (2013): 3,5.
  • The value of the Māori language = Te hua o te reo Māori. Wellington, N.Z.: Huia Publishers, 2014.
  • Co-author Olsen-Reeder, Vincent and Poia Rewi.
  • "Tā moko : vom Brauch zur Bekundung = Tā moko : from practice to expression." Gottfried Lindauer : die Māori-Portraits. Köln : Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, 2014.
  • Te Wharehou o Tūhoe : the house that 'we' built. Māori law review (Oct 2014): 7-13.
  • Papers/Presentations

  • "Te kōhanga reo and te ataarangi." International Indigenous Development Research Conference 2012: proceedings. Auckland, N.Z.: Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, 2012.
  • Co-author Vini Olsen-Reeder.