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.

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 Elaine Reese, Karen Salmon, Colleen Ward, Paul Jose and Garth Fletcher for their mentoring, kindness and assistance with professional activity in the whānau lab.

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 livelihood.

Postgraduate Students

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Maija McSweeney-Novak, Honours student

In 2018, Maija completed her Bachelor of Honours in Science majoring in Psychology and was supervised by Tia. Maija is currently doing her Masters thesis in  2019 and currently supervised by Tia.


Hannah Marshall, Honours student

Hannah has completed her Bachelor of Honours in Science majoring in Psychology. She has applied for the Health Psychology Programme at Massey University. Good luck Hannah with your scholarly endeavours.



Students undertaking supervision with Dr. Tia Neha in 2019:

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
Maija McSweeney-Novak Masters Primary Supervisor
Tyler Ritchie Joint Masters supervision with Professor Colleen Ward
Darren Hendricks Centre for Applied Cross-cultural Research_(CACR) Masters Primary Supervisor
Anna Ruben Joint CACR Masters supervision with Dr Rita McNamara
Aria Strongman-Lintern Joint Honours supervision with Dr Hedwig Eisenbarth

Previous Whānau Members

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Hazel Potterton
Merle Walker
Merle Walker