Dr Marama Muru-Lanning

MA (Hons), Dip Ed, PhD


Marama holds a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Auckland. She is a Senior Research Fellow and Acting Director at the James Henare Māori Research Centre. Marama also advises on elderly health projects in the School of Population Health. Her research is primarily concerned with debates and critical challenges in social anthropology where she focuses on the cultural specificity of iwi-Māori and their unique sense of place and belonging in New Zealand.  What distinguishes Marama nationally as a social scientist is her specialization in water, environment and indigenous rights. She currently holds a Royal Society Marsden Research Grant, is on the Board of the Association for Social Anthropology in Oceania and is a Council member of the Journal of the Polynesian Society, New Zealand’s oldest scholarly journal.

Her book Tūpuna Awa: People and Politics of the Waikato River, was published by Auckland University Press in 2016. Marama was awarded a Visiting Chilean Research Fellowship in 2015 and has conducted research with scholars from Pontificia Catolica Universidad examining the impacts of increased privatised geothermal and hydro electricity generation on Mapuche who reside in the Araucania of Chile. She also has research collaborations with other University of Auckland scholars that involve improving the water quality of New Zealand Rivers and investigating the resilience of Maori buildings.

Marama is from Turangawaewae Marae and is of Waikato and Ngati Maniapoto descent. 

Research | Current

- Marsden Research Project: Intergenerataional Investments or Selling Ancestors? Maori Perspectives of Privatising New Zealand's Electricity Generating Assets?

-Te Oranga o nga Kaumatua i roto i Te Tai Tokerau/ The Well-being of Kaumatua in the North a collaborative project.

- A Mana Whenua Kaitiaki Model for Freshwater Relationships in Tamaki.

- Whare Maori: Pilot Studies on Earthquakes Resilience of Marae and Maori-Owned Community Buildings.

Teaching | Current



Marsden Research Grant 2014 - The Royal Society, New Zealand

Visiting Scholar for 2014 - Interdisciplinary Center for Intercultural and Indigneous Studies, Pontificia-Catolica Universidad, Santiago and Villarrica , Chile

Publication Award 2013 - Nga Pae o te Maramatanga

Pacific Island Scholars Award 2013 - Association of Social Anthropologists Oceania

Te Wheke a Toi Post-Doctoral Fellow 2011-2013 - University of Auckland


Acting Director of James Henare Mãori Research Centre

Areas of expertise

Environmental Anthropology, Indigenous Rights, Cross Cultural Relationships, Treaty Settlements, Privatisation and Commodification, Knowledge Production, Ageing well and Elderly Wellbeing, Maori, Indigenous Peoples' of Chile.

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Board Director of Association of Social Anthropology for Oceania

Past Chair of Association of Social Anthropology for Oceania

Council Member for Journal of the Polynesian Society

Māori Advisory Board Member for COMPASS – The Centre of Methods and Policy Application in the Social Sciences, The University of Auckland

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Wham, C., Teh, R., Moyes, S. A., Rolleston, A., Muru-Lanning, M., Hayman, K., ... Adamson, A. (2016). Micronutrient intake in advanced age: Te Puāwaitanga o Ngā Tapuwae Kia ora Tonu, Life and Living in Advanced Age: A cohort study in New Zealand (LiLACS NZ). British Journal of Nutrition, 116 (10), 1-16. 10.1017/S0007114516003597
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Ruth Teh, Ngaire Kerse, Simon Moyes, Karen Hayman
  • Wham, C., Teh, R., Moyes, S. A., Rolleston, A., Muru-Lanning, M., Hayman, K., ... Kerse, N. (2016). Macronutrient intake in advanced age: Te Puāwaitanga o Ngā Tapuwae Kia ora Tonu, Life and Living in Advanced Age: A Cohort Study in New Zealand (LiLACS NZ). British Journal of Nutrition, 116 (6), 1103-1115. 10.1017/S0007114516003020
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/30869
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Simon Moyes, Ruth Teh, Ngaire Kerse, Karen Hayman
  • Muru-Lanning, M. L. (2016). Intergenerational investments or selling ancestors? Maori perspectives of privatising New Zealand electricity generating assets. In P. Adds, B. Bonisch-Brednich, R. Hill, G. Whimp (Eds.) Reconciliation, representation and indigeneity (pp. 49-64). Heidelberg: Winter-Verlag.
  • Muru-Lanning, M. L. (2016). Tupuna awa : people and politics of the Waikato River. Auckland, New Zealand: Auckland Uniuversity Press. Pages: 230.
  • Kerse, N., McDonald, M., Rolleston, A., Hayman, K., & Muru-Lanning, M. (2015). Mental health and wellbeing in advanced age: LiLACS NZ. Paper presented at RANZCP 2015, Brisbane, Australia. 3 May - 7 May 2015. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. (pp. 1).
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Ngaire Kerse, Karen Hayman
  • Muru-Lanning, M. (2015). Being Maori in the City: Indigenous Everyday Life in Auckland. CONTEMPORARY PACIFIC, 27 (1), 300-302.
  • Kerse, N., Muru-Lanning, M. L., Teh, R., & Rolleston, A. (2015). Life and Living in Advanced Age: A Cohort Study in New Zealand, Te Puawaitanga o Ngā Tapuwae Kia Ora Tonu (LiLACS NZ). In N. A. Pachana (Ed.) Encyclopaedia of Geropsychology (pp. ). Singapore: Springer. 10.1007/978-981-287-080-3_138-1
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Ngaire Kerse, Ruth Teh
  • Muru-Lanning, M. L. (2015). Thoughts on water [book review]. Cultural Studies Review, 21 (1), 304-309. 10.5130/csr.v21i1.4346

Contact details

Alternative contact

Correct Extension: 85743

Primary office location

Level B, Room B01
New Zealand