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 

Aroha Te Pareake Mead is a political scientist who works across disciplines on indigenous rights and sustainable development issues. From the Ngati Awa and Ngati Porou (Māori) tribes of the Bay of Plenty region, Aroha’s particulars areas of interest and expertise are:

• Māori/Indigenous cultural and Intellectual Property issues
• Biocultural heritage and biocultural conservation
• Māori representation and engagement in International Processes
• Indigenous perspectives on Biotechnology, Bioethics, Synthetic Biology;
• Māori/Indigenous advancement and sustainable development

Aroha previously held a range of senior policy management positions in Te Puni Kokiri primarily responsible for cultural heritage, resource management and indigenous rights issues. She has also worked for the Education Review Office, Human Rights Commission and as a Journalist and Documentaries researcher for TVNZ.

For the past 15 years Aroha has held governance positions in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and has been Chair of the IUCN Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy since 2008.
Current Global Appointments
• Re-elected global Chair of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy 2012-2016
• Governing Council Member, International Union for the Conservation of Nature 2012-2016
• Appointment as Chair of the Chairs of the six IUCN Scientific and Technical Commissions, 2009-present
• Appointed Member of Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)  Expert Group on Diverse Conceptualisation of Values of Nature and Ecosystems 2014
• Chair, Steering Committee for the Indigenous Peoples’ Biocultural Climate Change Assessment (IPCCA) based in Cusco, Peru.
• Appointed members of Jeju Global Environmental Advisory Group – advising on the Jeju 2020 World Environmental Hub project, Jeju, South Korea 2013
• Member External Advisory Board, University of Georgia, Centre for Integrative Conservation Research (CICR), Athens, Georgia, USA
Current National Appointments
• Appointed member Karanga Aotearoa Repatriation Advisory Panel, Te Papa Tongarewa, since 2012
• Board Member, Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand since 2012
• Mentor, Indigenous Knowledge, Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand since 2013
• Chair, Māori Representation in International Processes Working Group since August 2014

Publications and Presentations

Published Conference Presentations
Mead, A (2014) ‘ Balancing Indigenous Word Views with Global Perspectives’, Te Pae Roa 2040, Massey University, Albany Campus, 30 minute sound recording of full presentation  2-3 September 2014

Mead, A (2014) ‘Post-Treaty Settlement Agreements – Workforce Implications’ , 13th Annual Māori Legal Forum, Novotel Auckland Airport, 30 April

Mead, A (2014). ‘What are the workforce implications of the Post-Settlement environment? -  What skill sets are required to manage post-settlement entities and agreements? How will Crown agencies manage long-term post-settlement relationships with Iwi? How will Iwi manage relationships with multiple Crown agencies? Conference presentation at the 13th Annual Māori Legal Forum, Novotel Auckland Airport, 12-13 April

2013 – Culture as an Enabler of Environmental Sustainability, UNESCO Conference on Culture and Sustainable Development, Hangzhou, China, May 2013

2012 Keynote - 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

2011 Keynote – The Wai-262 Report, Keynote presentation at Library and Information Association of Aotearoa New Zealand (LIANZA) National Conference, Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington, 1 August 2011, video of keynote in 2 parts of 30 minutes

Peer Reviewed articles
Mead, A (2014) and Robson, J., Davidson-Hunt, J., Delaney, A., Lichtenstein, G., Magole, L., Co-Editors, ‘Remembering Elinor Ostrom Her Work and Its Contribution to the Theory and Practice of Conservation and Sustainable Natural Resource Management,’ special edition of Policy Matters Journal, Issue 19, April 2014 124 pages

A.T.P. Mead and 40 global experts, Preliminary guide regarding diverse conceptualization of multiple values of nature and its benefits, including biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services (deliverable 3 (d))
Technical paper for the Third Session of the Plenary of the Inter-Governmental Science-Policy Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. Bonn, Germany, 12–17 January 2015, 95 pages.

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

Mead, A with 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:

Mead, A with I Davidson-Hunt, K. Turner, 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
Māori Representation and Engagement in International Processes, Te Puni Kokiri, Wellington, 27 August 2014.

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, 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)

Supervision of Student organised seminars
WAI-262 Kaitiakitanga – Who Has Authority over Taonga? Who Owns Culture Property? What is a Kaitiaki, Victoria University, October 4, 2012

Ko Aotearoa Tenei – The Waitangi Tribunal’s Report on the WAI-262 Claim, Victoria University,   2011
Public Seminar, What Could the Treaty of Waitangi WAI-0262 Claim Hold for the Future?, Te Puni Kokiri, Wellington 9 September 2010

Multi-Disciplinary Technical Meetings
Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) Expert Group on Diverse Conceptualisation of Values of Nature and Ecosystems, Seigburg, Germany, 2-5 July 2014

Biocultural Conservation, Identifying Distinguishing Principles  – Colorado State University, Warner College of Natural Resources, Fort Collins, May 2013

Rockefeller Foundation, Bellagio - Strengthening the Role of Science in the Implementation of the IUCN Programme, Italy 4-7 December 2012

Rockefeller Foundation, Bellagio – Call of the Earth Llamado de la Tierra: Ancient Wisdom for Sustaining Livelihoods, Cultures and Environments, Italy, 25-30 November 2002

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 Māori 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 Auckland, 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
Mead, A (2014) and Gavin,M,, McCarter,J., Berkes, F., Pederson, D., Tang, R., Stepp, R., ‘Defining Biocultural Approaches to Conservation’, article in Press, Trends in Ecology and Evolution TREE, Ed.1895, 6 pages

“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., Remembering Elinor Ostrom, Her Work and Its Contribution to the Theory and Practice of Conservation and Sustainable Natural Resource Management, Preface in ‘Policy Matters’ Issue 19 – April 2014, IUCN Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy.

Mead, A., Macroeconomic Policies, Livelihoods and Sustainability, Foreword in Policy Matters, Issue 18 - November 2011, IUCN Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy .

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

Conference Presentations
Mead, A (2015) ‘World Heritage Sites and Indigenous Peoples – Good practices and lessons learned from a human rights perspective’ and ‘Links between lands, territories and the environment and cultural heritage’, UN Expert Seminar on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples with respect to the Cultural heritage, University of Lapland, Rovaniemi, Finland (26 & 27 February)

Mead, A (2014) ‘Indigenous Rights and the Environment’, UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Symposium, University of Waikato 24-25 July 2014

Mead, A (2013) ‘Towards a Natural Resources Governance Framework’, He Manawa Whenua Indigenous Research Conference, University of Waikato, July 2013
 Mead, A – ‘Indigenous World Views and Global Perspectives’, Te Pae Roa 2040, Massey University at Albany Campus, September 2-3 2014.

Mead, A – ‘Indigenous Rights and the Environment’, UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Symposium, University of Waikato and The Law Foundation, Hamilton, 24-25 July 2014.

Mead, A – ‘Wai 262’ Flora and Fauna claim, Te Tiriti o Waitangi: Past, Present and Future, Wellington City Library Treaty seminar series, 6 May 2014.

Mead, A – ‘Post Treaty Settlement Agreements – Workforce Implications’, 13th Annual Maori Legal Forum, Novotel Auckland, 29,30 April 2014.

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

Mead, A. – ‘The Culture of Collecting’, Public lecture as part of the exhibition Shadowing Venus: The Pacific Adventures of Joseph Banks; 12 October 2012 Te Puke Ariki, New Plymouth.

Mead, A. – ‘Rights of Kaitiaki in Taonga Works and Matauranga’ and ‘Closing Address’ at WAI262 Symposium Ko Aotearoa Tenei: Wellbeing & Wealth, Waikato University Law Faculty, Hamilton, 27 October 2011.

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, ‘Māori Contribution to International Processes’ , Public Seminar on UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Law Faculty, Waikato University, 21 July 2010.

Mead, A, “The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples – Implications for New Zealand”, 9th Annual Māori 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: Māori and Protected Areas”, Manu Ao Academy, 12 May 2010.

Major Reports
Mead, A, "Māori 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., Māori 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., Māori Heritage, Cultural and Intellectual Property, (Wellington, Te Puni Kokiri, 1995).

Published Conference Papers
Mead, A., 'Public Policy, Ethics & Matauranga Māori', 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 Māori', Traditional Knowledge & Research Ethics Conference, (Nga Pae o te Maramatanga, Auckland, 2005), ISBN 0-9582610-0-8.

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

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

Technical Papers
Report of the Independent Reference Group for the Christensen Fund Review and Evaluation, San Francisco, October 2009 – February 2010.

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.