Awanui Te Huia

Dr Awanui Te Huia profile picture

Postgraduate Coordinator Te Kawa a Māui

Research interests

Te reo Māori, heritage language learners, indigenous studies, social psychology, acculturation.


Ngāti Maniapoto


BA (Psychology, Te Reo Māori), BSc(Hons) (Psychology), PhD

Graduate of Te Panekiretanga o te reo Māori


Awanui Te Huia began working at Te Kawa a Māui in 2011 lecturing in the Māori language programme. She completed her PhD in Psychology with a focus on Māori heritage language learners of te reo Māori. Since completing her PhD, Awanui has been involved with a diverse range of research projects, including those that aim to support language learners of te reo Māori. One of her most recent research projects includes an evaluation of Te Kura Whānau Reo, a Māori language programme designed and developed by Te Ataarangi to support parents who are transitioning their homes into Māori language speaking domains. Her research also focusses on factors influencing bicultural relationships in Aotearoa/New Zealand through examining the role of conscientisation and how the framing of history contributes to the shaping of identity in Aotearoa.

Current research projects

  • The role of history in Aotearoa New Zealand and its contribution to the nation’s identity
  • Motivations of Māori and Pākehā learners of te reo Māori
  • Resources that support Māori language learning
  • Identity development through Māori language learning
  • The impact of colonisation on contemporary bicultural relationships.

Selected publications

Te Huia, A., Muller, M. (2017). He Kaupapa Whānau Ako Reo: He tauira nā Te Kura Whānau Reo. MAI Journal, 6(3), 259-271.

Te Huia, A. (2017). Exploring the role of identity in Māori heritage language learner motivations. Journal of Language, Identity and Education, 16(5), 299-312.

Te Huia, A., Muller, M., Waapu, A. (2016). Evaluation of Te Kura Whānau Reo, Ministry of Education, Wellington.

Te Huia, A. (2016). Pākehā learners of Māori language responding to racism directed toward Māori. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 47(5), 734-750.

Te Huia, A. (2016). Exploring goals and motivations of Māori heritage language learners. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching, 5(4), 609-635.

Te Huia, A. (2015). Perspectives towards Māori identity by Māori heritage language learners. New Zealand Journal of Psychology, 44(3), 18-28.

Te Huia, A. (2014). Indigenous culture and society: Creating space for Indigenous Māori cultural and linguistic development within a discriminatory post-colonial society. Psychology and Developing Societies, 26(2), 233-261.

Te Huia, A., Liu, J.H. (2012). Māori culture as a psychological asset for New Zealanders’ acculturation experiences abroad. International Journal of International Relations, 36, 140-150.

Conference presentations

Ki te ao mārama: Tertiary education as a means of revealing the layers of colonisation. Webinar presentation prepared for the Maniapoto Māori Trust Board, September 2017.

He tirohanga hou: Emotional responses to learning about the colonisation of Aotearoa. International Indigenous Research Conference, Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, Auckland, November 2016.

Kia tika te tūāpapa: The (re) education of the history of Aotearoa New Zealand. Māori Association of Social Sciences Conferences. Wellington, November, 2016.

Tukua te reo kia rere: Understanding factors that support and inhibit learners of an indigenous language. Focus on the Learner: Contributions of individual differences to second language learning and teaching. Konin, Poland, October 2016.

Māori engagement in Māori education. School of Psychology Colloquium Series, Wellington, September 2016.

The place of te reo Māori in the development of a NZ national identity. Language Education and Diversity Conference, November 2015.

The benefit of community for Māori and Pākehā reo Māori speakers. Australia Human Development Association 2015. James Cook Hotel, Wellington, July 2015.

Post-colonial language learners of te reo Māori responding to racism toward Māori. CACR Psychology Lab Series, Wellington, July 2015.

Understanding the motivations of Māori indigenous language learners. Contemporary Indigenous Realities Conference 2015. Niksic, University of Montenegro, June 2015.

Invited panel discussant. Te Kura Roa: Minority language and dialect conference 2015. Otago University, Dunedin.

Te Mauri ka Tau: A model for Māori language learning. Māori Association of Social Scientists Conference, 2014. Massey University, Palmerston North.

Cultural ideologies and language motivations of indigenous and post-colonial language learners. ISPP International Society of Political Psychology Conference 2014. Ergife Palace Hotel, Rome, Italy.

Motivations, goals and the journey of heritage language learning. NAISA Native American Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) Conference 2012. Mohegan Sun, New England, America.

Identity security through heritage language acquisition. MAI Doctoral Conference 2011. Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, Whakatāne.

Māori cultural frameworks as assets for New Zealanders’ in Japan. 23rd Annual Convention of American Indian Psychologists and Psychology Graduate Students Conference 2010, Utah State University.

Research findings from Te Manawa Ora o Ngā Taiohi evaluation. Suicide Prevention New Zealand Symposium, Wellington, September 2009.