Our team members, affliates, and directors.
Paul is an independent academic researcher and principal of Takarangi Research. He is the co-founder to the website www.maorimaps.com. He is a team leader on five NZ/Australian socially responsible research projects, covering climate change and urban impact on indigenous production/consumption systems, twenty first century importance of kāinga/marae communities; reimagining Pacific navigation and future roles of museums post COVID.
Hirini grew up in the small marae community of Oromahoe in the Bay of Islands, Northland. He completed a doctorate at the University of Otago, Dunedin, exploring the past-present and future of his papakāinga. The general theme of his research interests is understanding something of the relationship between people, land and water. Hirini is also kaiwhakahaere for the website www.maorimaps.com.
Merata Kawharu (Ngāti Whātua, Ngāpuhi) is an academic, researcher and writer. She is Principal of Takarangi Research is also a Principal of Nukuroa Research Consulting Ltd and a Research Professor at the Centre for Sustainability, University of Otago, Dunedin. She has taught at Auckland and Otago universities, and has published widely in the areas of indigenous leadership, entrepreneurship, culture, resource management and Te Tiriti kaupapa. Merata has been a consultant to the UN and UNESCO and is currently a member of the New Zealand Geographic Board. In 2012 she was made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for services to Māori education. She’s a Māmā of two beautiful taiohi Piere Atiakura and Freda Hemaima. When not walking the mountains and hills with the whānau or Tihi, she’s a PI for 3 projects: Project Kāinga working alongside kāinga and researchers on developing resilience in the face of climate change challenges (MBIE Endeavour Research Programme); Young Māori connections with Marae (Marsden); and Pā to Plate: developing Marae-based food systems innovation (National Science Challenge ‘Our Land and Water).
Ben is a researcher and occasional pot stirrer. Having completed his PhD in law and climate change at the University of Otago, he now works on projects that explore the implications of damage and loss due to foreseeable climate impacts. His doctoral thesis straddled social science research and legal analysis to examine how people in climate hazard exposed properties can be immobilised by insurance retreat and property value diminution. So far, Ben’s research focus has been on the legal and social components of managed relocation within a broader context of climate adaptation. His current work with Takarangi examines the rights and responsibilities of hazard exposed marae in relation to local and central government.
Tihi is our executive assistant from the back blocks of Fairy Springs in Rotorua. The descendant of two strong whakapapa liines of German-Sheppard and Bearded-Collie. Tihi administers the neighbourhood feline colonisation, the distribution of pats and economy of belly scratches.