Aroha Te Pareake Colleen Mead

Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Porou

1955 -

Aroha Mead was born in Whakatane and was educated in New Zealand, the United States and Canada. She has been the foreign policy convenor of Māori Congress since 1990 and this has been a pivotal part of determining her long-term career and professional interests. She graduated with a Masters in International Relations from Victoria University in 1997 and is now pursuing a PhD at Victoria University. Aroha has been very active in UN negotiations as they relate to the rights of indigenous people and has represented Ngata Awa and Māori Congress at many UN meetings. She sits on a number of international indigenous organizations including the Indigenous Knowledge Programme and Cultural Survival (Canada). She recently returned from teaching an intensive course on indigenous people in the International System at the International Training Centre for Indigenous Peoples (ITCIP) at Nuuk, Greenland. Aroha Mead has worked as Manager of Cultural Heritage and Indigenous Issues Unit at the Treaty Compliance Branch at Te Puni Kōkiri Ministry of Māori Development.

"The most recent conference she led was Sharing Power: A New Vision for Development held in Whakatane, New Zealand, January 2011. A multi-disciplinary conference that explored de-centralisation in the governance and management of bio-cultural resources; enabling indigenous peoples and local communities to have greater rights and responsibilities in governance and management of the landscapes and ecosystems they live in and near; and looked at alternatives to the current capital based economic model that has created social and economic inequities and large scale environmental damage.

Her current interests are in providing insights into new models of conservation and development."

Biographical sources

  • Correspondence from Aroha Mead, 5 Feb. 1998.
  • 8 September 2016


  • Māori Congress Report for UNCED: UN Conference on Environment & Development. Ed. Aroha Te Pareake Mead. Wellington, N.Z.: Māori Congress, June 1992.
  • "Delivering Good Services to the Public without Compromising the Cultural and Intellectual Property of Indigenous Peoples: The Economics of Customary Knowledge." The Public Service: Delivering Good Services To The Public? A Joint Seminar. The N.Z. Institute of Public Administration and the International Ombudsman Institute. New Zealand Institute of Public Administration Research Papers Vol 10. No. 3, Wellington, N.Z.: New Zealand Institute of Public Administration, 1993. 31-36.
  • In this paper presented at the seminar held in Wellington, N.Z., 8 October 1993 entitled The Public Service: Delivering Good Services To The Public? Mead discusses the implications of ‘patenting of all life forms’ and the ‘patenting of cultural expressions’, an initiative being explored by governments around the world. She also discusses how the appropriation of cultural and intellectual property rights affects New Zealand Māori iwi and has lead to the development of the Mataatua Declaration in June 1993.
  • "Cultural & Intellectual Property Rights of Tangata Whenua." Celebrating Women in Science. Ed. Mary Cresswell. Wellington, N.Z.: NZ Association for Women in the Sciences Inc., 1993. 154-257.
  • "Sustainable Development: A Māori Perspective." Sustainable Development: A Social perspective. A Workshop Wellington, N.Z., Thursday 18 February. Organised by the Ministry for the Environment and the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology. Foundation for Research, Science and Technology and the Ministry for the Environment. Wellington, N.Z.: Ministry for the Environment/Manatu mō Te Taiao, Feb. 1993. 55-59.
  • Mead writes of the eleven National Māori Congress principles of sustainable development presented to the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) Earth Summit held in Brazil in 1992 and highlights the indigenous policy outcomes of Agenda 21 of the Earth Summit.
  • Global Indigenous Strategies for Self-Determination: Report of the Māori Congress Indigenous Peoples’ Roundtable Meeting. Wellington, N.Z.: Taonga Pacific Ltd., 1994.
  • "Indigenous Rights to Land & Biological Resources." Biodiversity: Impacts on Government, Business & the Economy. Auckland, N.Z.: International Institute for Research (NZ) Ltd. 1994. No further details.
  • "Biodiversity Community Integrity and the Second Colonialist Wave." Aba Yala News. Ed. Nilo Cayuqueno. Oakland, California: South & Meso American Indian Rights Centre. Feb. 8.4 (1994).
  • "Māori Leadership." Te Pua Journal 3.1 (1994): 11-20.
  • A comprehensive paper on leadership in contemporary Māori society in which Mead notes the role of colonisation in influencing Māori male leaders’ predilection towards economic development and lack of accountability to Māori women and rangatahi. Mead uncovers detrimental areas in the Māori community such as sexism, the ‘petty jealousies, and downright abuse of privilege and position’, and ‘[m]arginalising the participation of rangatahi and Māori women’. She urges Māori to ‘assume our rightful role in the development of any policy (national, regional and international), which affects this Treaty nation.’ Included with this paper is an article entitled "Intervention on Agenda Item 7: United Nations Working Group on Indigenous People 12th Session, by Māori Congress Foreign Policy convenor, Aroha Mead." which was presented to the Hui Whakapumau Māori Development Conference on 10-11 August 1994 at the Department of Māori Studies at Massey University.
  • "Misappropriation of Indigenous Knowledge: The Next Wave of Colonisation." Otago Bioethics Report 3.1 (Feb. 1994): 4-7.
  • Mead writes of the implications past and present of continued misappropriation of indigenous knowledge and she discusses specific initiatives of biodiversity mining in the global environment and their far-reaching effects. She concludes by noting the response of those attending the First International Conference on the Cultural and Intellectual Property Rights of Indigenous Peoples held in 1993 and hosted by the nine iwi of Mataahua, and the publishing of the Mataatua Declaration which provides ethical frameworks for those wanting to access indigenous cultural and intellectual property.
  • Māori Congress Indigenous Peoples Roundtable Meeting: Global Indigenous Strategies for Self-Determination. Whakatane, Aotearoa New Zealand 13-17 June 1994. No details.
  • As Māori Congress Foreign Policy Convenor, Mead writes in the opening Preface that the idea of holding the Roundtable Meeting ‘developed from a concern that there is a steadily increasing number of significant United Nations and other international initiatives which have direct relevance to the lives and livelihoods of indigenous peoples worldwide. The perspectives of Indigenous peoples at international events are often not sought at national preparatory and international levels...The Meeting provided an opportunity to pool indigenous experiences and wisdom from the four corners of the world and attempt to develop strategies and common understandings of how best to promote the self-determination of indigenous peoples in a cohesive and collective manner.’ Mead then provides a report of the programme of the Roundtable and a list of 14 recommendations and the final statement of the Roundtable Meeting of June 1994 and 12 recommendations that relate to the UN Decade for The World’s Indigenous Peoples - Plan of Action.
  • "Ethical And Cultural Issues, Biculturalism And Cultural Sensitivity." The Clinical and Research Use of Human Genetic Material: Guidelines for Ethical, Cultural and Scientific Assessment: Final Report to the Health Research Council Ethics Committee, December 1995. Health Research Council of New Zealand and Health Research Council Ethics Committee. Auckland, N.Z.: Health Research Council of New Zealand, c. 1995. 10-24.
  • This paper was prepared by a Working Party of the Ethics Committee of the Health Research Council of New Zealand that re-examined the guidelines of scientific and ethical practice in research and clinical use of human genes. Mead examines the implications of genetic screening, somatic cell gene therapy and germ line gene therapy within the New Zealand context of Treaty of Waitangi provisions and Māori whakapapa. She also notes particular issues in human genetic research that are problematic to Māori.
  • "The Integrity of the Human Gene: Genes & Whakapapa." Pu Kaea: Te Reo Panui o Te Waka o Mataatua. Onehau Phillis. Whakatane, N.Z.: Pu Kaea (1995). No further details.
  • "The International Context." The Treaty of Waitangi, Towards 2000. Wellington, N.Z.: The Centre for Continuing Education (1995). No further details.
  • "The Convention of Biological Diversity: Are Human Genes Biological Resources?" NZ Environmental Law Reporter (July 1995): 127-132.
  • "A Māori Viewpoint on Genetic Research & Services." Priorities for Genetic Services in New Zealand National Advisory Committee on Core Health & Disability Support Services. Wellington, N.Z.: Ministry of Health, July 1995. No further details.
  • "Biculturalism & Cultural Sensitivity in Human Gene Therapy - The Clinical & Research use of Human Genetic Material." Guidelines for Ethical, Cultural & Scientific Assessment. Auckland, N.Z. Health Research Council of New Zealand, 1995: 15-24.
  • "Part IV. A Māori viewpoint on genetic research and services." Aroha Te Pareaka Mead. Priorities for Genetic Services in New Zealand: A report to the National Advisory Committee on Core Health and Disability Support Services. J.W. Dixon, I. Winship and D. R. Webster. [Wellington, N.Z.]: The Committee, [1995]. 33-37.
  • Mead suggests that this Māori viewpoint on genetic research and services should be read in conjunction with her Report and Guidelines on the Clinical and Research Use of Human Genes, Appendix 2: Biculturalism and Cultural Sensitivity in Human Gene Therapy and Research. She discusses Māori perspectives of the human gene, the implications of genetic screening on the Māori individual, whanau and community, and issues of informed consent procedures and Treaty of Waitangi responsibilities concerning overall Māori health.
  • "The Treaty of Waitangi: The International Context." The Treaty of Waitangi: Towards 2000: A Collection Of Papers From The 1995 Lecture Series Organised By The Centre For Continuing Education/Te Whare Pukenga, Victoria University Of Wellington, N.Z./Te Whare Wananga o te Upoko o te Ika a Maui. Wellington, N.Z.: Centre for Continuing Education, Victoria U, 1995.
  • In this paper presented for the lecture series The Treaty of Waitangi - Towards the Year 2000, delivered by Mead on 14 June, 1995, Mead discusses self-determination, democracy and international obligations within the context of the Treaty of Waitangi.
  • Nga Tikanga, Nga Taonga - Cultural & Intellectual Property: The Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Ed. G. H. Smith and M. H. Hohepa. Monograph ser. 23. U of Auckland, N.Z.: Research Unit for Māori Education, 1995.
  • This is the text of a paper presented by Mead to the International Institute for Research (NZ) Ltd. and Department of Conservation Conference on ‘Biodiversity: Impacts on Government, Business and the Economy’, held at the Centra Hotel in Auckland, N.Z. on August 4 and 5 1994. Mead writes ‘The objective of this paper is to consider the issue of indigenous rights to land and biological resources by exploring three broad areas: the Global Marae and Legal Framework; Indigenous knowledge of Biological Diversity; Indigenous Rights to Biological Diversity.’
  • "Genealogy, Sacredness and the Commodities Market." Cultural Survival Quarterly 20.2 (1996) 46-53.
  • "De-Colonisation & Identity: The Bridge to Unite or Divide Women. Women in Leadership: Power and Practice. Ed. Su Olsson & Nicole Stitton. Palmerston North, N.Z.: Massey University, 1996: 49-62.
  • "How Are The Values Of Māori Going To Be Considered And Integrated In The Use Of Plant Biotechnology In NZ?" Plant Biotechnology: Final Report & Proceedings from the Conference. Wellington, N.Z.: Ministry of Agriculture, 1996. 61-66.
  • "Māori Sovereignty & Globalisation." Human Rights, Sovereignty & Migration. University of Auckland, N.Z.: NZ/Asia Policy Institute, 1997. No further details.
  • "Intellectual & Cultural Property Rights of Indigenous Peoples of the Pacific." Report of the Inaugural Indigenous Peoples of the Pacific Workshop on the UN draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Pacific Concerns Resource Centre. Suva, Fiji: Government of the Republic of Fiji, 1997. 65-97 (including commentary).
  • "Genetic Resources & Indigenous Cultural Heritage." Gene Technology: Benefits & Risks The Royal Society of NZ. Wellington, N.Z.: The Royal Society of New Zealand, 1997. 67-70.
  • "Human Genetic Research & Whakapapa." Mai I Rangiatea: Māori Wellbeing & Development. P. Te Whaiti, M. McCarty and A. Durie. Auckland, N.Z.: Auckland UP & Bridget Williams Books, 1997. 126-141.
  • "Sacred Balance." Global Biodiversity Assessment: Cultural & Spiritual Values of Biodiversity. Darrell Posey. Leiden University, Neth.: UNEP/Intermediate Technology Press, 1998. No further details.
  • "International Indigenous Librarians' Forum : proceedings." Wellington, N.Z.: Te Rōpū Whakahau, c2001.
  • "Legal pluralism & the politics of Māori image and design." He Pukenga Kōrero : a journal of Māori Studies, 7.1 (Sum 2003): 34-37.
  • "Collective biocultural heritage : An indigenous response to biotechnology." Talking biotechnology : --reflecting on science in society : 29 November-2 December, 2005, Wellington, New Zealand : abstracts. Ed. Sally Davenport ... [et al.]. Wellington, N.Z. : Victoria Management School, 2005.
  • "Mātauranga taketake = Traditional knowledge : indigenous indicators of well-being : perspectives, practices, solutions, 2006." Te Rito, J.S.(ed). Auckland, N.Z. : Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, 2007.
  • Pacific genes & life patents Pacific indigenous experiences & analysis of the commodification & ownership of life. Ed. Aroha Te Pareake Mead and Steven Ratuva. [Wellington, N.Z. ; Yokohama, Japan : Call of the Earth Llamado de la Tierra and the United Nations University of Advanced Studies, 2007]
  • "Respect Mother Earth." Tu mai (Feb/Mar 2010): 18-19.
  • Reviews

  • "Book review - Arotakena pukapuka." Māori law review, (May 2016): 38-40.
  • Review of 'Indigenous intellectual property : a handbook of contemporary research', edited by Matthew Rimmer.