The Team

Associate Professor Rachael Ka'ai-Mahuta

Māori (Ngāti Porou, Ngāi Tahu), Hawaiian, Cook Island Māori

Contact Details:

Phone: +64 9 921 999 extn 6609


BA(Hons), MA(Hons), PhD, Te Panekiretanga o Te Reo

Research Areas:

Language revitalisation, including language documentation, with a specific focus on strategies and resources for the revitalisation of te reo Māori. Recent research has focussed on raising Māori speaking children and normalising te reo Māori amongst adolescents. Comparative Te Moana Nui (Pacific) research, highlighting connections in genealogies, traditions, and languages across 'our sea of islands'. Indigenous Peoples’ rights, including the right to language, and the politics of identity and place, especially in relation to the Pacific diaspora. Traditional Māori knowledge passed down through the oral tradition, particularly as it is expressed through the Māori performing arts, and digital technology for the preservation and dissemination of that knowledge.

Current Supervision:       


Amelia Kingi (primary)
Michael Miller based at Victoria University of Wellington (secondary) 

Current research projects

Externally funded 

Te Ara o te reo Māori – The trajectory of the Māori language project is funded by Te Pūnaha Matatini at the University of Auckland.  The co-leads are Associate Professor Rachael Ka’ai-Mahuta & Professor Michael Plank.  For more information see Te ara o teo reo Māori | The trajectory of the Māori language (

Ki te Toi o te Ora – System change to reverse health inequality and environmental degradation project is funded by Te Pūnaha Matatini at the University of Auckland.  The co-leads of this project are Dr Anna Matheson & Professor Troy Baisden. For more information see Ki te toi o te ora: System change to reverse health inequality and environmental degradation (

Selected publications

Moorfield, J. C. & Ka'ai-Mahuta, R. (2023).  Te Kākano (3rd ed.).  Auckland, NZ:  Edify. Te Whanake Resources | Te Whanake 1: Te Kākano 3rd Edition

Barrett-Walker, T., Plank, M. J., Ka‘ai-Mahuta, R., Hikuroa, D., James, A. (2020). Kia kaua te reo e rite ki te moa, ka ngaro: Do not let the language suffer the same fate as the moa. Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 17: 20190526. Retrieved from  

Ka'ai-Mahuta, R. (2018). The Right to Return: Challenging Existing Understandings of ‘Citizenship’ in Aotearoa/New Zealand. In P. Calla & E. Stamatopoulou (Eds.), Walking and Learning with Indigenous Peoples, (pp. 66-81). New York City: Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race and the Institute for the Study of Human Rights, Columbia University. Retrieved from

Mahuta, D., & Ka‘ai-Mahuta, R. (2017). Te matarua o te hangarau. MAI Journal, 6(3), 344-352. Retrieved from

Ka‘ai-Mahuta, R., Ka‘ai, T., & Moorfield, J. (Eds.) (2013). Kia Rōnaki – The Māori Performing Arts. Auckland: Pearson. Retrieved from

Ka‘ai-Mahuta, R. (2011). The impact of colonisation on te reo Māori: A critical review of the State education system. Te Kaharoa, 4(1), 195-225. Retrieved from