Leonie Pihama

Leonie Pihama

Ko Taranaki, Ko Karioi ngā maunga

Ko Waitara, ko Waikato ngā awa

Ko Te Ātiawa, Ngāti Māhanga, Ngā Māhanga ā Tairi ōku iwi

Ko Ngāti Rahiri tōku hapū


Associate Professor Leonie Pihama is a mother of six and a grandmother of three.

Leonie is Director of Te Kotahi Research Institute at the University of Waikato, and Director of Māori and Indigenous Analysis Ltd, a Kaupapa Māori research company. She has worked as an Associate Professor in Education at the University of Auckland and was Director of the Interational Research Institute for Maori and Indigenous Education (IRI).

Leonie is a leading kaupapa Māori educator and researcher. Leonie was named as one of two recipients of the 2015 Ngā Pou Senior Fellowship (Māori Health Research Council) and also received the 2015 Te Tohu Pae Tawhiti Award (New Zealand Association for Research in Education). Leonie was recipient of the Hohua Tūtengaehe Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship (Health Research Council), and was the inaugural Fulbright-Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga Scholar Award (2011) at the Indigenous Wellness Research Institute, University of Washington.

Leonie was Principal Investigator on the Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga research project ‘Tiakina Te Pā Harakeke: Māori childrearing within a context of whānau ora.  This project has made significant impact in regards to making available a depth of traditional knowledge to those working in Early Childhood Education, Maori Education and Maori Providers working in Whānau Ora contexts.

Leonie is also a member of the research advisory oversight group for the ‘Te Kura Mai I Tawhiti: He Piki Raukura – Health and Wellbeing through the lifecourse: Whānau early invention’ project alongside Te Kopae Piripono (Taranaki) who are one of the Early Childhood Centres of Innovation.  

She has served on the Māori Health Committee for the Health Research council and on a number of key boards including Māori Television and Te Māngai Pāho. Leonie has extensive expertise connecting her to a wide-range of communities and iwi, which enables her to relate to people throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. 

Keynote speech:

"He pukenga wai he nohonga tangata, he nohonga tangata he pukenga kōrero”

Where waters converge and pool, people gather;

When people gather, conversation flows.

Whakataukī, proverbial sayings, provide us with ancestral knowledge.  The whakataukī that informs this presentation "He pukenga wai he nohonga tangata, he nohonga tangata he pukenga kōrero”  provides us with insights into how to understand, through an Indigenous lens, the significance and centrality of relationships.   Relationships are central within a Māori worldview. 

Within the past few months we have seen within Turtle Island (America) the rise of the ‘Women’s March on Washington’ and associated actions. It has been a powerful response to this latest chapter of neoliberalist conservatism.  What we have seen with the ‘Women’s March’ is large scale mobilisation of groups calling for inter-sectionality as a basis for unification.  

In such a context it is even more critical that Indigenous Nations continue to collectivise to challenge colonial imperialism in all its forms.  This presentation shares insights into Mana Wahine, Māori women’s analysis and movements within Aotearoa that provide some reflections on how meaningful intersectionality may be a part of creating meaningful and transformative relationships for Indigenous Peoples.