Associate Professor Rawinia Higgins (Tūhoe) works at Te Kawa a Māui, School of Māori Studies at Victoria University in Wellington. She is Co-Principal Investigator of Te Kura Roa a three year Ngā Pae o Te Māramatanga funded Pae Tawhiti Initiative that examines the value of the Māori Language. This research programme examines both State and Community Responsiveness to Māori Language revitalisation efforts in Aotearoa New Zealand. She leads the Community project in collaboration with Te Ataarangi and Te Kōhanga Reo. Dr Rawinia Higgins studied at Victoria University and completed her post-graduate degrees at the University of Otago. Her MA thesis was written in te reo Māori and examined the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren and her PhD thesis examined the identity politics of moko kauae. Her research is entrenched in the discipline of Māori Studies with a particular focus on the language and culture. Using these cultural paradigms, her work highlights the value of the language and Māori knowledge within modern academic discourse.
A/Prof Higgins is an active member of her tribe and is currently a Trustee on Te Kotahi a Tūhoe (Settlement Negotiation Trust) and the Tūhoe Fisheries Charitable Trust. She is also a board member of Te Māngai Pāho and was appointed as a member of the Waitangi Tribunal in 2013.