School of Management

Aroha Mead

Senior Lecturer/MBUS Director
School of Management

Phone: 04 463 6911
Location: Room 1026, Rutherford House 23 Lambton Quay, Pipitea Campus

Aroha Mead


MIR (with distinction) VUW, 1996.

Research Interests

  • Maori and indigenous cultural and intellectual property issues;
  • Indigenous peoples and protected areas (land and marine);
  • Customary Law and the role of tradition in management and conflict resolution;
  • Extractive industries and biodiversity;
  • The Principle of Informed Consent;
  • International standards-setting for indigenous rights and development;
  • Biotechnology and Bioethics;
  • Sustainable development.

Aroha Te Pareake Mead has been re-elected by the World Conservation Congress to a second term as global Chair of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN),  Commission on Environment, Economics and Social Policy (CEESP) and is currently Senior Lecturer in Maori Business, School of Management, VUW.
Chair, Steering Committee for the Indigenous Peoples’ Biocultural Climate Change Assessment (IPCCA) based in Cusco, Peru.
Jeju Global environmental Advisory Group – advising on the Jeju 2020 World Environmental Hub project.
Aroha was appointed to Te Papa’s ‘Karanga Aotearoa Repatriation Advisory Panel’, and is a member of Te Pae Whakawairua, the Maori Advisory Committee to Archives NZ as well as a member of  the Maori Advisory Statistics Committee, Statistics NZ.
Editorial Board, Handbook for Parliamentarians on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples, UN Headquarters New York, (November 2010-present)
Steering Committee member, Treaty of Waitangi Refurbishment Project, Department of Internal Affairs (March 2011-present)
Appointment to the Independent Reference Group for the Christensen Fund Review and Evaluation, San Francisco, October 2009 – February 2010
“Sustainable Agriculture & Rural Development and Indigenous Peoples”, UN Food and Agriculture Organisation,Rome,  23 October 2010
Appointment as Chair of the Chairs of the six IUCN Scientific and Technical Commissions, 2009-present
“The History of the Elaboration of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,” Cambridge Review of International Affairs, 19 June 2008

Publications and Presentations

A.Mead - ‘Nature, Culture & Ethics’
Synthetic Biology & Conservation, Claire College, Cambridge University 9-11 April 2013

2012  Published Keynote Conference Presentations
Guardians and Gold Diggers, Keynote presentation at International Indigenous Development Conference, Nga Pae o Te Maramatanga, University of Auckland, Auckland (NZ) Saturday, June 30, 2012, 47 minute video of presentation

2012 Peer Reviewed articles Co-authored

ATP Mead, Sharing Power: Māori and Protected Areas, Chapter 18, Governance and Leadership in Future Challenges for Māori: He Kōrero Anamata, edited Selwyn Katene and Malcolm Mulholland, Huia Publishers, Wellington 2013, pp 195-204

Aroha Mead, Richard Cellarius & Georgina Peard, IUCN Commission on Environmental, Economic & Social Policy, in Surveys & Perspectives Integrating Environmental & Society (SAPIENS), Vol. 5, Issue 2, 2012, Veolia Environment, Paris, France, pp27-31. Also available on-line at:

I Davidson-Hunt, K. Turner, Aroha Mead, J. Cabrera-Lopez, R. Bolton, C Idrobo, I. Miretski, A. Morrison, J. Robson, Biocultural Design: A New Conceptual Framework for Sustainable Development in Rural Indigenous and Local Communities, in Surveys & Perspectives Integrating Environmental & Society (SAPIENS), Vol. 5, Issue 2, 2012, Veolia Environment, Paris, France, pp. 33-45. Also available on-line at:

Contributions to the Research Environment

National and International Conference and seminars Organised

Sharing Power: A New Vision for Development, IUCN CEESP, VMS, Te Runanga o Ngati Awa and Te Whare Wananaga o Awanuiarangi, (Whakatane, 11-15th 2011)

Public Seminar, What Could the Treaty of Waitangi WAI262 Claim Hold for the Future?, Te Puni Kokiri, Wellington 9 September 2010

Public Seminar, UN Special Rapporteur on United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of Indigenous Peoples, Professor James Anaya, (VUW Pipitea Campus, 19 July 2010)


Mead, A, 'He Paua, He Korowai me Ngaa Waahi Tapu: A Shellfish, A Woven Cloak and Sacred Places: Maori & Protected Areas', Cultural Survival Quarterly, 28, 1 (March 2004), Cambridge, Massachusetts, pp. 61-64.

Mead, Aroha, 'Legal Pluralism & The Politics of Maori Image & Design', He Pukenga Korero: A Journal of Maori Studies, 7, 1 (2003), pp. 34-38+.

Mead, A., 'Sacred Balance', He Pukenga Korero, 3, 2, (Palmerston North, Massey University, 1998), pp. 22-27.

Mead, A., 'Genealogy, Sacredness and the Commodities Market', in Jonathan Friedlaender (ed), Cultural Survival Quarterly, 20, 2, (Cambridge, Massachusetts, Cultural Survival, 1996), pp. 46-53.

Mead, A., 'The Convention on Biological Diversity: Are Human Genes Biological Resources?' in Nin Thomas, Faculty of Law, Auckland (ed), New Zealand Environmental Law Reporter, (Auckland, University of Auckoland, 1995), pp.127-132.

Mead, A., 'Biodiversity, Community Integrity and the Second Colonialist Wave', in Nilo Cayuqueno (ed), Aba Yala News, 8, 4, (Oakland, California, South & Meso American Indian Rights Centre, 1994).

Mead, A., 'Maori Leadership', in Linda Smith & Reina Whaitiri (eds), Te Pua Journal 3, 1, (Auckland, Puawaitanga, Te Whare Wananga o Tamaki Makaurau, 1994), pp. 11-20.

Mead, A., 'Misappropriation of Indigenous Knowledge: The Next Wave of Colonisation', in Barbara Nicholas (ed), Otago Bioethics Report, 3, 1, (Dunedin, Bioethics Research Centre, 1994), pp. 4-7.

Journal articles Peer-Reviewed

“Sustainable Agriculture & Rural Development and Indigenous Peoples”, UN Food and Agriculture Organisation,Rome,  23 October 2010

“The History of the Elaboration of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,” Cambridge Review of International Affairs, 19 June 2008

“Set the Overgrowth Alight and the New Shoots will Spring Forth: New Directions in Community Based Research”, AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Scholarship, 28 September 2007

“Whakapapa - a foundation for genetic research?” for the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry [MS 06-03-0079], 4 April 2006

Books/Edited Book/Scholarly Editions

Mead, Aroha Te Pareake and Ratuva, Steven, Pacific Genes & Life Patents: Pacific Indigenous Experiences & Analysis of the Commodification & Ownership of Life, United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies and Call of the Earth Llamado de la Tierra, Wellington, 2007. Open Source publication available at:

Mead, A., Global Indigenous Strategies for Self-Determination, (Wellington, Taonga Pacific Limited, 1994), 27pp.


Mead, A., 'The Polynesian Excellence Gene & Patent Bottom-Trawling', Pacific Genes & Life Patents: Pacific Indigenous Experiences & Analysis of the Commodification & Ownership of Life, Mead, A and Ratuva, S., United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies and Call of the Earth Llamado de la Tierra, Wellington, 2007, pp. 34-59.

Mead, A., 'Cultural Capital and Maori Cultural Heritage', in Louise O'Brien (ed), Seizing the Future - Cultural Value in the Knowledge Economy, (Wellington, Cultural Foresight Group - Creative NZ, 1999), pp. 52-61.

Mead, A., 'Cultural Perspectives on Gene Technologies', in Darrell Posey (ed), Global Biodiversity Assessment:Cultural & Spiritual Values of Biodiversity, (Leiden University, UNEP/Intermediate Technology Press, 1998).

Mead, A., 'Law Based and Cultural Based Models of Human Rights' in Nin Thomas (ed), Collective Human Rights of Pacific Peoples, (IRI, University of Auckland, 1999), pp. 109-119.

Mead, A., 'Genetic Resources & Indigenous Cultural Heritage', Gene Technology: Benefits & Risks, (Wellington, The Royal Society of New Zealand, 1997), pp. 67-70.

Mead, A., 'Human Genetic Research & Whakapapa', in P. Te Whaiti, M. McCarthy & A. Durie (eds), Mai I Rangiatea: Maori Wellbeing & Development, (Auckland University Press & Bridget Williams Books, 1997), pp. 126-141.

Mead, A., 'Maori Sovereignty & Globalisation', Human Rights, Sovereignty & Migration, (University of Auckland, NZ/Asia Policy Institute, 1997).

Mead, A., 'De-Colonisation & Identity: The Bridge to Unite or Divide Women', in Su Olsson and Nicole Stirton (eds), Women in Leadership: Power & Practice, (Palmerston North, Massey University, 1996), pp. 49-62.

Mead, A., 'A Maori Viewpoint on Genetic Research & Services', Priorities for Genetic Services in New Zealand , for National Advisory Committe on Core Health & Disability Support Services, (Wellington, Ministry of Health, 1995).

Mead, A., 'Biculturalism & Cultural Sensitivity in Human Gene Therapy', The Clinical & Research Use of Human Genetic Material: Guidelines for Ethical, Cultural & Scientific Assessment, (Auckland, Health Research Council of NZ, 1995), pp. 15-24.

Mead, A., 'The Integrity of the Human Gene: Genes & Whakapapa', in Onehau Phillis (ed), Pu Kaea: Te Reo Panui o te Waka o Mataatua, (Whakatane, Pu Kaea, 1995).

Mead, A., 'The International Context', The Treaty of Waitangi; Towards 2000, (Wellington, Centre for Continuing Education, 1995).

Mead, A., 'Indigenous Rights to Land & Biological Resources', Biodiversity: Impacts on Government, Business & the Economy, (Auckland, International Institute for Research (NZ) Ltd, 1994).

Mead, A., 'Cultural & Intellectual Property Rights of Tangata Whenua', in Mary Cresswell (ed), Celebrating Women in Science, (Wellington, NZ Assoc. For Women in Sciences Inc, 1993), pp. 154-157.

Mead, A., 'Sustainable Development: A Maori Perspective', Sustainable Development: A Social Perspective, (Wellington, Foundation for Research, Science & Technology, February 1993), pp. 55-59.

Conference Presentations

Mead, A, “Exploring the Value of Biodiversity”, DEEP The Kermadecs Symposium, Pew Environment Group, Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington, 31 August 2010

Mead, A , “Living Culture”, “Culture as a framework for sustainability” and  “Planning for the Future”,  Symposium on the Cultural identities and sustainable lifestyles on the Galapagos Island, Charles Darwin Foundation, Puerto Ayoro, Galapagos, 28-30 September 2010

Mead, A, “Indigenous Peoples and The Commons”, Trade, Intellectual Property and the Knowledge Assets of Indigenous Peoples: The Developmental Frontier, VUW Law School, 8 December 2010

Mead, A, “The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples – Implications for New Zealand”, 9th Annual Maori Legal Forum, Wellington Town Hall, 26 July 2010

Mead, A, “Environment, Conservation & Economy: Foundations for the Future – Maori and Conservation NGOs need to work together”, Living Springs Conference Centre, Christchurch 2 July 2010

Mead, A, Keynote Address, Sharing Power: A New Vision for Development, 18th Annual Hawai’i Conservation Congress, Honolulu, 4 August 2010

Mead, A, “Sharing Power: Maori and Protected Areas”, Manu Ao Academy, 12 May 2010

Major Reports

Mead, A, "Maori Course Content in Selected School of Government Courses", VUW SoG, 5 November 2007.

Mead, A, 'Emerging Issues in Maori Traditional Knowledge - Can These be Addressed by United Nations Agencies?', Technical Report for the UN Workshop on Traditional Knowledge, (Panama 2005) Report can be located at:  23 pages.

Mead, A, 'Matauranga Maori - Indigenous Traditional Knowledge', Commissioned Report for Te Puni Kokiri: Ministry of Maori Development, Wellington, December 2005.

Mead, A, 'Indigenous Peoples, Mining & Ethical Practice' Commissioned Report for IUCN (World Conservation Union) and ICMM (International Council on Mining & Minerals), Gland, Switzerland, July 2003, 41 pages.

Mead, A., Intellectual & Cultural Property Rights of Indigenous Peoples of the Pacific, in Pacific Concerns Resource Centre (ed), Report of the Inaugural Indigenous Peoples of the Pacific Workshop on the UN draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples , (Suva, Fiji, Government of the Republic of Fiji, 1997), pp.67-97 including commentary.

Mead, A., Maori Participation in the Public Good Science Fund, Report to the Foundation for Research, Science & Technology, (Wellington, 1995), 40pp.

Minor Reports

Mead, A., Indigenous, Intellectual & Cultural property, (Te Korowai Aroha Aotearoa AGM, Takapuwahia Marae, 1996).

Mead, A., Maori Heritage, Cultural and Intellectual Property, (Wellington, Te Puni Kokiri, 1995).

Published Conference Papers

Mead, A., 'Public Policy, Ethics & Matauranga Maori', Traditional Knowledge & Research Ethics Conference, Nga Pae O Te Maramatanga, University of Auckland, 2005), pp. 121-144. 

Mead, A.T., 'CBD Working Group on Access and Benefit Sharing', Report on Meeting in Bangkok, The International Indigenous Alliance, (Bangkok, 2005).

Mead, A.T., 'Biocultural Heritage: An Indigenous Response to Biotechnology, Keynote address, Talking Biotechnology: Reflecting on Science in Society, (Victoria Management School, Victoria University of Wellington, 2005).

Mead, A.T., 'Public Policy, Ethics and Matauranga Maori', Traditional Knowledge & Research Ethics Conference, (Nga Pae o te Maramatanga, Auckland, 2005), ISBN 0-9582610-0-8.

Mead, A.T., 'Maori Cultural Capitalism, Intellectual Property Rights & Pluralism', 1 out of 8 Seminars organised by NPOTM during 2004 to profile Maori Researchers across disciplines, Nga Pae o Te Maramatanga Research Centre Seminar, (Auckland, 2004).

Mead, A.T., 'Panellist at a UNESCO Roundtable on the Practicality, Feasibility and Cost of Certificates of Origin', UNESCO - HQ, (UNESCO-HQ, Paris, 2004).

Mead, Aroha, 'Call of the Earth: Llamado de la Tierra - indigenous intellectural property issues', World Intellectural Property Organisation [WIPO] Inter-Governmental Meeting on Traditional Knowledge (Geneva, Switzerland, WIPO, 2003)

Mead, A.T., 'Understanding Maori Cultural & Intellectual Property Rights', Inaugural Maori Legal Forum, Conference, (Te Papa, Tongarewa, 2002).

Mead, A.T., 'Ethical Implications of Governmental Coverage of Traditional Medicine: Panel presentation', (Olson-Garewal, Mead, van Rensberg, Works & Bluehouse), subsequently published by the University of Arizona College of Medicine and the Indian Health Service Clinical Support Centre, 5th World Congress of Bioethics, Imperial College of Medicine, (June 2001).

Mead, A.T., 'Working Group on Ethical, Legal & Social Implications of Human Genetic Research involving Native Americans', (University of Colorado, 2001).

Mead, A.T., 'Owning Up: Bodies, Selves and the New Genetic Property', (Harvard University, J F Kennedy School of Government, 2001).

Mead, A.T., 'Community Consent, Respect for Culture and Institutional Review Boards', Genetics & The Law 2001 Symposium, (Smith Kline Beecham & Arizona State University, 2001).

Mead, A.T., 'International Indigenous Librarians', (ed) Robert Sullivan, Pub. Te Ropu Whakahau, Forum Proceedings, (Te Ropu Whakahau, 2001).

Mead, A.T., 'Ethical & Legal Issues in Indigenous Population based Research, Roundtable on Alternatives to the Intellectual Property Regime for Protecting Indigenous Genetic Materials, International Institute of Indigenous Resource Management Conference, (2001).

Mead, A.T., 'A National Strategy for Maori Intellectual Property', Nga Hunga Roia o Aotearoa, Maori Lawyers Association, AGM, (2000).

Mead, A.T., 'Maori Perspectives on Genetic Modification', Understanding Gene Technologies Conference organised by Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA), (Te Papa Tongarewa, 2000).

Technical Papers

Statement of Evidence by Aroha Te Pareake Mead in Support of the Ngati Porou WAI262 Indigenous Flora and Fauna Treaty of Waitangi Claim (Treaty of Waitangi Tribunal, August 2006) 58 pages plus 4 Appendices.

Supplementary Evidence by Aroha Te Pareake Mead in Support of the Ngati Porou Wai262 Indigenous Flora & Fauna Treaty of Waitangi Claim (Treaty of Waitangi Tribunal, October 2006) 20 pages plus 2 Appendices.

Mead, A & Penetito, W, Review of Te Tau Ihu O Nga Whare Wananga, commissioned by the Executive Committee of Te Tau O Nga Whare Wananga (September 2006) 18 pages