• 2010, PhD in Anthropology, The University of Auckland;
  • 1986, Diploma in Education, Waikato University.

AFFILIATION: The University of Auckland.

CURRENT ACTIVITIES: I am a Māori anthropologist and Acting Director at the James Henare Research Centre. I specialize in researching Māori relationships with water and the environment, and indigenous rights. My research engages with debates and critical challenges in social anthropology focusing on the cultural specificity of iwi-Māori and their unique sense of place and belonging in Aotearoa-New Zealand. My work demonstrates that Māori identities are the product of their relationship with distinct landscapes and it emphasises the importance of ethical practices in research. In 2015 I was awarded a prestigious Marsden Research Grant. My Marsden builds on my expertise of Māori property rights and guardianship responsibilities for local natural resources. This research has received much academic and public attention because of the growing concern for our nation’s waterways and wetlands.  Recognised internationally, my scientific contribution led to an invitation to take up a research fellowship in the Center for Intercultural and Indigenous Research (CIIR) in Chile (2014) where I researched the impacts of transnational electricity generation companies on the Mapuche, an indigenous people in Chile.


  • Muru-Lanning, M., 2017. ‘Multidisciplinary research collaborations, vision matauranga science and the potential of anthropology in Aotearoa-New Zealand’ Commoning Ethnography, 1(1) pp 1-7.
  • Muru-Lanning, Marama. 2017, ‘Ancestors for Sale’ In Haidy Geismar and Jane Anderson (eds.) The Routledge Companion to Cultural Property. London: Routledge, pp 473-485.
  • Muru-Lanning, Marama. 2016, Tupuna Awa: People and Politics of the Waikato River. Auckland: Auckland University Press.
  • Muru-Lanning, Marama. 2016, ‘Intergenerational Investments or Selling Ancestors? Maori Perspectives of Privatising New Zealand Electricity Generating Assets’ In Richard Hill and Brigitte Bonisch-Brednich (Eds) in Reconciliation, Representation and Indigeneity. Heidelberg: Winter-Verlag, pp 49-61.
  • Muru-Lanning, Marama. 2016, ‘Investigación Colaborativa Māorí, Ciencia Mātauranga Māorí y la Apropiación del Agua en Nueva Zelanda’ In P. Di Giminiani, A. Aedo and J. Loera (eds.) Hueders in Ecopolíticas Globales: Medioambiente, Bienestar y Poder. Santiago: Chile, pp 193-221.