Dr Billie Jane Lythberg

PhD, conferred 2011


I work at the junction of economics, anthropology and history, with a strong focus on Aotearoa and the Pacific. My work explores inovation and sustainability in creative and cultural industries.


Research | Current

I am currently an investigator on four Royal Society of NZ Marsden Project​s:

Te Ao Hou: transforming worlds in New Zealand 1900-1950 (2016-2021);

Ancient Futures: late 18th and early 19th century Tongan arts and their legacies (2017-2021);

Tāngata Tiriti: learning the trick of standing upright here (2018–21);

and Vā Moana: Space and Relationality in Pacific Thought (2019–22). ​


Teaching | Current

2020     Business 101

Postgraduate supervision

Rosanna Raymond MPhil, 2020 onwards

I'u Tuagalu PhD, 2019 onwards

Gloriana Meyers, MA, completed 2020

All are Marsden scholars


2018    PI, Tāngata Tiriti, Marsden Project

2016    Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Travel Fellow

2015   Appointed Contributing Editor for Arts of Oceania, SmARThistory—the official partner to Khan Academy for art history

2011    Association des Jardins du Maine Prix P.J. Redouté for French edition of edited art/economic history volume The Tulip Anthology (PQ Blackwell Ltd)

1996    Maharaia Winiata Memorial Prize

Committees/Professional groups/Services

2018     Appointed to editorial executive, Journal of Pacific History.


Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Lythberg, B., McCarthy, C., & Salmond, A. J. M. (2019). TRANSFORMING WORLDS: KINSHIP AS PRACTICAL ONTOLOGY INTRODUCTION. JOURNAL OF THE POLYNESIAN SOCIETY, 128 (1), 7-18. 10.15286/jps.128.1.7-18
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/50354
  • Douglas, B., Veys, F. W., & Lythberg, B. (Eds.) (2018). Collecting in the South Sea The Voyage of Bruni D'Entrecasteaux 1791-1794. Leiden: Pacific Presences. Pages: 340. Related URL.
  • Herda, P., Lythberg, B., Mills, A., & Taumoefoloau, M. (2017). What's in a Name? Reconstructing nomenclature of prestige and persuasion in late 18th-century Tongan material culture. The Journal of the Polynesian Society, 126 (4), 443-468.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/50146
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Phyllis Herda, Melenaite Taumoefolau
  • Henare, M., Lythberg, B., Nicholson, A., Horan, J., Longmuir, K., & Peni, T. (2017). Janssen ethnic responsiveness — Understanding cultural drivers that impact on health disparities for Māori in Aotearoa-New Zealand. Mira Szászy Research Centre, University of Auckland Business School.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/50224
  • Herda, P. S., & Lythberg, B. J. (Eds.) (2017). "Cultural change in Tongan bark-cloth manufacture": The scholarship and legacy of Maxine J. Tamahori Auckland: Department of Anthropology, The University of Auckland.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Phyllis Herda
  • Lythberg, B. (2017). Captain Cook’s barkcloth books. Expedition: The Magazine of the Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, 59 (1), 29-37.
  • Lythberg, B., Hogsden, C., & Ngata, W. (2017). Relational systems and ancient futures: Co-creating a digital contact network in theory and practice. In B. Onciul, M. L. Stefano, S. K. Hawke (Eds.) Engaging heritage, engaging communities (pp. 205-226). Woodbridge, Suffolk, UK: Boydell Press.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/51370
  • Hēnare M, Lythberg, B., Nicholson, A., & Woods, C. (2017). Te Ohu Umanga Māori: Temporality and intent in the Māori entrepreneurial team. In Ben-Hafaïedh C, T. Cooney (Eds.) Research handbook on entrepreneurial teams: Theory and practice (pp. 208-230). Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd. 10.4337/9781784713263.00018
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Christine Woods

Contact details

Primary office location

Level 4, Room 461
New Zealand