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Student Profiles

Dr Moana Eruera
Iwi:
Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Ruanui, Ngāti Rangiwewehi

Doctor of Philosophy in Indigenous Studies

Background Summary:

I didn’t plan to do more study after completing my Masters in 2005. I was focused on working actively in my community. But from 2006 to 2012 I did family violence consultancy work in Whangarei. It led to involvement in a research study on intimate partner violence with seven Te Tai Tokerau colleges, which was when I decided that I would do my PhD on this topic.


The study explored the supports taitamariki Māori need to develop healthy intimate partner relationships. Informed by the young people’s insights, the research identified a range of strategies for whānau, hapū, iwi and community workers to use when working with taitamariki. My hope is that this will, in turn, help break the cycle of whānau violence, and increase whānau ora and wellbeing for whānau, hapū and iwi Māori


I came to Awanuiārangi because I wanted to be in a space where all of our knowledge and our ways of being and doing as Māori are valid from the starting point. My earlier degrees were through mainstream universities. For a PhD in indigenous studies, I was really clear that Awanuiārangi is where I wanted to place myself.


Studying at this level and working full time is hard. It takes a huge amount of discipline, resilience and determination to get through a PhD. Juggling things led to some pretty unorthodox hours of writing, at all hours of the day and night. I got into a habit of getting up at between 4 and 5am, writing for a couple of hours, going to the gym and then going to work.


When I started working as Principal Advisor Māori for Child, Youth and Family in 2013, I was fortunate to be sharing my role with Dr Leland Ruwhiu, who has spent many years working in academic environments. He was a huge ongoing support to me, alongside other friends and whānau who were there to help in practical ways, and Child, Youth and Family, who gave me excellent study support. I was also supported by a Health Research Council grant and my research was conducted as an iwi research project through Te Rūnanga a Iwi o Ngāpuhi.