About us – Our Whānau

Mā wai ra, e taurima, Who will take responsibility
I waho nei, On the marae now
Mā te pono, mā te tika, There can only be truth and justice
Me te aroha e, If there is love

Nā, Henare Teowai. Nō Te Whānau o Hiruharama, Te Awe Mapara, Te Whānau o Te Aowera me Te Aitanga a Mate.

This waiata tangi was a lament from my Koro Henare Teowai (a well known expert in kapa haka) to his friend Reverend Tamahore who passed away. Understandably, he was profoundly sad for the loss of his friend and was unable to attend his tangi. He had been commissioned by Sir Apirana Ngata to lead the revival of waiata and haka in North Auckland.  At the time of his passing  Reverend Tamahore was based in the East Coast of the North Island. This waiata tangi has 7 verses to it. It depicts human levels of loss, love, integrity, memoirs and then who will succeed leadership for whānau. To link this waiata of my koro to the whānau lab, past and present members of it have experienced these range of emotions, memories to becoming strident leaders in the workforce and to their communities. Ngākau mahaki. Nā Tia Neha.

Principal Investigator

Tia Neha, PhD

Tia received her PhD in Psychology at the University of Otago, and a Bachelor of Honours and Masters Degrees in Psychology at the University of Canterbury. Her thesis topic was “He Maumahara ki ngā Kōrero a ngā Whānau ki Te Waipounamu, Family Recollections and Social Contributions to Māori children’s learning in the South Island, New Zealand”. She has extensive experience as a consultative researcher, and has worked on a diverse range of projects in collaboration with other academics, government agencies, health professionals and communities.

Ngā mihi aroha ki a Professors Linda Nikora, Lou Moses, Elaine Reese, Karen Salmon, Colleen Ward, Paul Jose, Garth Fletcher and Dr Hazel Phillips for their mentoring, kindness and assistance with supervision, professional activity and support over the years.

Research Assistant

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Christina Lorth

Christina volunteered in te whānau lab from July 2018 before taking up a Research Assistant  role in November 2018 and continues to assist with the follow-up study.  She received her GDipSc in Psychology in 2017 from Victoria University of Wellington and is currently  completing a Master of Science in Psychology at Massey University.  Her main areas of interest are indigenous and developmental psychology, positive psychology, humanitarian work/IO psychology and sustainable livelihoods.

Postgraduate Students

Maija photo
Maija McSweeney-Novak, Masters in Science graduate.

In 2018, Maija completed her Bachelor of Honours in Science majoring in Psychology and was supervised by Tia. Maija completed her Masters in 2021  and is now in Auckland. Many thanks to the assistance of Dr Anne Mackaskill.

Hannah Marshall, Honours student

2018 Hannah completed her Bachelor of Honours in Science majoring in Psychology. Hannah is in  the Health Psychology Programme at Massey University. Good luck Hannah with your scholarly endeavours.

Students undertaking supervision with Dr. Tia Neha in 2019 onwards:

Ririwai Fox Joint PhD supervision with Professor Paul Jose.
Annalisa Hughes Joint PhD supervision with Professor Tony Ward
Roisin Whelan Cultural supervisor with Professor Karen Salmon and Dr Clare-Ann Fortune. Roisin has submitted her PhD for examination and awaiting to do her viva in May 2022.
Maija McSweeney-Novak Masters  joint supervisor with Dr Anne Mackaskill. Masters degree completed.
Tyler Ritchie Joint Masters supervision with Professor Colleen Ward. Masters degree completed.

Tyler has now started her PhD and undertaking joint supervision with Professor Colleen Ward.

Darren Hendricks Centre for Applied Cross-cultural Research_(CACR) Masters Primary Supervisor and joint supervisor Professor Colleen Ward. Dareen has completed his Masters Degree and now working for a corporate firm.
Anna Ruben Joint CACR Masters supervision with Dr Rita McNamara. Anna has completed her Masters and has returned back to the workforce.
Aria Strongman-Lintern Joint Honours supervision with Dr Hedwig Eisenbarth. Aria is now working in a Ministry where she is flourishing well in a supportive environment. Kia kaha e Aria.

Previous Whānau Members

Hazel Photo
Hazel Potterton
Merle Walker
Merle Walker