Dr Hirini Kaa

MA, PhD (Auckland)


Dr Hirini Kaa is of Ngati Porou, Ngati Kahungunu and Rongowhakaata descent. Hirini has worked in a range of areas including in the social services sector, for the Anglican Church and for his iwi. Hirini has extensive telvision experience including presenting, researching and co-writing the seven part historical documentary series 'The Prophets' for Maori Television, and he continues to be sought out for commentary on a range of subjects across different media outlets. His PhD thesis was ‘He Ngākau Hou: Te Hāhi Mihinare and the Renegotiation of Mātauranga, c.1800-1992’ and his MA thesis was ‘Te Wiwi Naati: The Cultural Economy of Ngati Porou, 1926-1939’. 

Research | Current

  • Indigenous/native engagement with Christanity and Empire
  • Indigenous health and wellbeing
  • Iwi/Maori and the media
  • Indigenous/Maori sexualities and relationships

I have been awarded a prestigious Marsden Fund Fast-Start grant from the Royal Society to undertake a project: 'The Young Māori Party: Leading Iwi into Modernity' from 2018-2020.

I'm currently working on my book for Bridget Williams Books on Iwi engagement with Christianity c.1800-1992.

Teaching | Current


THEOREL 208 Religious Resistance to Empire: Native and Indigenous Movements, 1900-1945

THEOREL 308 Religious Resistance to Empire: Native and Indigenous Movements, 1900-1945

HISTORY 227 Waitangi: Treaty to Tribunal

HISTORY 327 Waitangi: Treaty to Tribunal

HISTORY 705 Writing New Zealand


Postgraduate supervision


Ryan Anderson, 'Maori Travellers in London', MA

Graham Cameron, 'An historical contextual theology of Pai Marire, the first indigenous Christian faith' PhD, Otago

Ben Manley, '‘Intoxicating and Spiritual Effect’: A study of the records of the Maori Land Court and analysis of their importance in re-constructing Maori histories', MA

Kristen Rawlinson, 'On the Outskirts: Pākehā Involvement with the Māori Activist Movements', MA


Shareena Dullabh, '‘Mana Wahine’: The Māori Women’s Welfare League and the Māori Play-centre Movement, 1951-1973', BA(Hons)

Bailey Masters, 'Pākehā Perceptions of Kūpapa “Loyalty” and the Politics of Racial Alliances During the East Coast Wars, 1865-1872', BA(hons)

Kim Moore, 'Mātauranga Māori and Modernity: Reframing the Tohunga Suppression Act 1907', BA(hons)

Matthew Nickless, 'Through the Red Lens: Constructed Perceptions of Māori as a Violent Race, 1857-1873', MA

Jonothan Whyte, 'Towards defining a Northern political tradition: Hone Heke Ngapua, 1892-1909’, BA(Hons)


New Zealand Journal of History Board of Management member

Auckland History Initiative Board of Management member

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Royal Australasian College of Physicians, Ethics Committee Member, Maori Health Committee advisor

General Synod of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Member


Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Kaa, H. (2014). Ngā hāhi – Māori and Christian denominations. http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/nga-hahi-maori-and-christian-denominations/page-1. Related URL.
  • Kaa, H. (2014). Indians, Mihinare and Anglicans: Caught in the Web of Transnational Histories. Te Pouhere Kōrero, 7, 35-46.
  • Kaa, H. (2014). He Ngākau Hou: Te Hāhi Mihinare and the Renegotiation of Mātauranga, c.1800-1992 The University of Auckland. ResearchSpace@Auckland.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/24422
  • Kaa, H. (1/1/2013). The Prophets (Television Program) [Television]. Related URL.
  • Kaa, H. (2012). Sex, Sin and Salvation: Māori Morality through a Christian Lens. Te Pouhere Kōrero, 6, 27-34.
  • Kaa, H. (2000). 'Te wiwi nati’ : the cultural economy of Ngati Porou, 1926-1939 The University of Auckland. ResearchSpace@Auckland. Related URL.


Contact details

Primary office location

OKARETA - Bldg 215
New Zealand

Web links