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 Director at the James Henare 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 engagement. She is a Council member of the Journal of the Polynesian Society, New Zealand’s oldest scholarly journal.

She also has research collaborations with other University of Auckland faculties which include projects with Civil Engineering, Robotics and Infastructure.

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

Research | Current

- Ngã Pae o Te Mãramatanga Research Commissioning, Community connection to place

- Health Research Council, People with Dementia and Robots for Independence

- Arts Faculty Awarded Staff Summer Scholarship, How does Tikanga and Mãtauranga Mãori apply when designing Robots 

- QuakeCoRE, New earthquake legislation for Mãori buildings

- Ngã Pae o Te Mãramatanga, Septic Tank Mitigation in Takahiwai 

- National Science Challenge, Kaumãtua o tãtou taonga 


Teaching | Current



2018, Appointed Director of the James Henare Research Centre; 

2017, My sole-authored book Tupuna Awa: People and Politics of the Waikato River was a finalist in the Ngã Kupu Ora Mãori book awards (non-fiction politics);

2016, Elected Chair for the Association for Social Anthropology in Oceania;

2014, Awarded Marsden Fast-Start Research Grant, The Royal Society of New Zealand;

2014, Awarded Chilean Research Fellowship with the Interdisciplinary Center for Intercultural and Indigenous Research (CIIR), Universidad de Catolica-Pontificia, Chile; 


Director of James Henare Mãori Research Centre

Areas of expertise

Social Anthropology, Indigenous Engagements, Vision Matauranga, Cross Cultural Relationships, Water, Natural Resources, Treaty Settlements, Privatisation and Commodification, Knowledge Production, Kaumatua Wellbeing, Maori, Indigenous Peoples' of Chile.

Committees/Professional groups/Services

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)

  • Kerse, N., Lapsley, H., & Muru-Lanning, M. (2017). Women of LiLACs New Zealand. Paper presented at Women’s Studies Association Pae Akoranga Wāhine Conference 2016, Auckland, New Zealand. 2 September - 3 September 2016. Women Studies Journal.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/41817
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Hilary Lapsley, Ngaire Kerse
  • Muru-Lanning, M. (2017). Ancestors for sale in Aotearoa-New Zealand. In J. Anderson, H. Geismar (Eds.) The Routledge companion to cultural property (pp. 473-485). Abingdon, UK: Routledge. 10.4324/9781315641034
  • Muru-Lanning, M. L. (2017). At every bend a chief, at every bend a chief, Waikato of one hundred chiefs: Mapping the socio-political life of the Waikato River. In J. H. Wagner, J. K. Jacka (Eds.) Island Rivers: Fresh Water and Place in Oceania (pp. 137-164). ANU Press. Related URL.
  • 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
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Simon Moyes, Ruth Teh, Ngaire Kerse, Karen Hayman
  • Muru-Lanning, M. (2016). Investigación colaborativa Mãori, Ciencia mãtauranga Mãori y la Apropiación del agua en Nueva Zelanda. In P. Di Giminiani, A. Aedo, González JL (Eds.) Ecopolíticas globales: Medio ambiente bienestar y poder (pp. 261-283). Santiago, Chile: Hueders.
  • 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), 1754-1769. 10.1017/S0007114516003597
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Ruth Teh, Ngaire Kerse, Simon Moyes, 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.

Contact details

Alternative contact

Correct Extension: 85743

Primary office location

Level B, Room B01
New Zealand