Dr Aroha Harris

BA, MPhil, PhD (Auckland)

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Senior Lecturer » History

Organisational units


  • Senior Lecturer

Dr Aroha Harris belongs to Te Rarawa and Ngapuhi. Her current projects reflect her interest in Māori and iwi histories of Māori policy and community development in the twentieth century. Prior to her university appointment, Aroha variously worked in both historical and social research for Government departments (including the Waitangi Tribunal Division), private organisations, and iwi. She continues to provide research advice to Te Runanga o Te Rarawa on a range of iwi development projects, including the negotiation and settlement of Te Rarawa historical Treaty claims. Aroha is a founding member of Te Pouhere Korero, the national organisation of Māori historians, and co-editor of their journal of the same name. She has variously published in edited collections and academic journals, and her first book, Hikoi: Forty Years of Maori Protest, was published in 2004. Aroha was appointed a member of the Waitangi Tribunal in 2008, and is currently a member of the Te Rohe Potae (Wai 898) panel.


Works in progress
Tangata Whenua: An Illustrated History is a collaborative project with Professor Atholl Anderson and the late Dame Judith Binney to produce a general illustrated history of Māori to the year 2000 to be published by Bridget Williams Books in 2014.

Research | Current

  • New Zealand history, Māori culture and society in the post-war era, oral history, race relations history.
  • Waitangi Tribunal and Treaty of Waitangi claims
  • Māori Urban Lives; Māori and post-war Auckland City
  • Twentieth Century Māori History
  • Te Rarawa Historical Land Claims
  • Oral and Life Histories


Teaching | Current


Dr Harris is not currently teaching, but is instead working fo the Waitangi Tribunal. She will return to the Univeristy in 2017.


Postgraduate supervision

Current supervisions

  • Hirini Kaa, PhD, "He Ngakau Hou: Te Haahi Mihinare as a Site of Maori Cultural Construction, 1945-1990".
  • Marianne Schultz, PhD, "Performing New Zealand: Maori and European song and dance on stage, 1860-1940".

Recent completions

  • Max Maclaurin, Hons Dissertation, (co-supervised with Associate Professor Jennifer Frost), Indigenous Resistance as Empowerment: cultural revitalisation, historical symbolism and movement strategy at Bastion Point (1977-8) and Wounded Knee (1973), 2012.
  • Jennifer Ashton, PhD, John Webster on the New Zealand Frontier, 1841-1912, 2012.
  • David Holmes, Hons Dissertation, Marshland, Milk & Memory: the manipulated evolution of the Woodlands Block, 2011.
  • Sianatu Lotoaso, Hons Dissertation, The Deported Overstayer of the 1970s, 2011.
  • Jonathan Gould, Hons Dissertation, The British Office's New Zealand Policy in the 1830s, 2011. 
  • Melissa Williams, PhD, 'Back-Home' and Home in the City: Maori Migrations from Panguru to Auckland 1930-1970, 2010.
  • Rewa Morgan, Hons Dissertation, Telling Stories: Rewi's Last Stand. An inquiry into a historical narrative 1914-1922, 2010.
  • Omar Hamed, Hons Dissertation, Direct Action and Environmental Protest in Aotearoa, 1997-2009, 2009.
  • Helen Robinson, PhD, Inventing Traditions in Unsettled Societies: Historic Commemorations in New Zealand and Northern Ireland, 1940-1990, 2009.

Supervision options

  • Please email for an appointment (a.harris@auckland.ac.nz) if you would like to discuss supervision of your thesis or dissertation.

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Harris, A. (2014). Being Māori in the City: Indigenous everyday life in Auckland. The Journal of Pacific History, 49 (2), 235-237. 10.1080/00223344.2014.892235
  • Harris, A. G. (2013). Maori History Biography - Iwi Development Research. Paper presented at New Zealand History Association Biennial Conference 2013, University of Otago. 20 November - 22 November 2013.
  • Harris, A. G., & McCallum, M. J. (2012). "Assaulting the Ears of Government": The Indian Homemakers' Clubs and the Maori Women's Welfare League in their Formative Years. In C. Williams (Ed.) Indigenous Women and Work: From Labor to Activism (pp. 225-239). Urbana, Illinois, USA: University of Illinois Press.
  • Harris, A. G. (2012). 'Modern in a Traditional Way': The Māori Search for Cultural Equilibrium in a Saying, a Song and a Short Story. In D. Keenan (Ed.) Huia Histories of Maori: Nga Tahuhu Korero (pp. 339-351). Wellington: Huia Publishers.
  • Harris, A. G. (2012). Hikoi: Der lange Marsch der Maori. Berlin: Orlanda Press. Pages: 178.
  • Harris, A. G. (2011). The Maori Women's Welfare League - interview about research. Ready, Steady, Learn on 95bFM.
  • Harris, A. G. (2011). Ans Westra's 'Washday at the Pa'. The Good Word, TVNZ7.
  • Harris, A. G., & McCallum, M. (2011). The Maori Women's Welfare League and the Indian Homemakers Clubs: indigenous women's activism and mid-twentieth-century history. Paper presented at Critical Ethnic Studies and the Future of Genocide, University of California, Riverside. 10 March - 12 March 2011.

Contact details

Primary location

Level 1, Room 214-124
Auckland 1010
New Zealand