Mātauranga Māori team

Find out about the people that make up our Mātauranga Māori team and their roles at Te Papa.

Migoto Eria
Ngāti Pāhauwera, Ngāti Huia, Ngāti Ruapani, Itami City Hyogo Japan

Head of Mātauranga Māori

Migoto is an advocate for iwi Māori representation in the museum sector. Her interests include promoting kaitiakitanga of taonga, both in museums and private collections.

As a curator of taonga Māori in a previous life, she has published and written various articles about taonga Māori from an iwi Māori perspective.

Dougal Austin
Kāti Mamoe, Kāi Tahu, Waitaha

Senior Curator Mātauranga Māori

Dougal (Kāti Māmoe, Kāi Tahu) has a particular research interest in the origins, development, cultural use and significance of hei tiki, an interest he will continue to develop. His current work has included a tour of the Kura Pounamu exhibition in China.

Amber Aranui, PhD
Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Tamakōpiri

Curator Mātauranga Māori

Amber has worked at Te Papa since 2008, spending 11 years as a researcher for the Karanga Aotearoa Repatriation Programme before a two-year secondment to National Services Te Paerangi to develop Ngākahu National Repatriation Project. Amber has a strong passion for repatriation and is a proven provenance researcher.

With a background in archaeology, her interests lie in early forms of taonga Māori and advocates for the reconciliation of taonga with their people. Amber is currently a Board Member for Museums Aotearoa and the National Army Museum, as well as chair of the Indigenous Council for the World Archaeological Congress.

Selected bibliography


  • The Routledge Companion to Indigenous Repatriation: Return, Reconcile, Renew. C. Fforde, C.T. McKeown, & H. Keeler (eds.) (Routledge.2020)
    ‘Uses and abuses: Indigenous human remains and the development of European science: An Aotearoa/New Zealand case study’
    ‘‘Under The Hammer’: The Role of Auction Houses and Dealers in the Distribution of Indigenous Ancestral Remains’, with Fforde, C., Pickering, M., Knapman, G., Turnbull, P., & Keeler, H.
    ‘‘Inhuman and Very Mischievous Traffic’: Early Measures to Cease the Export of Ancestral Remains from Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia’ with Fforde, C., Knapman, G., & Turnbull, P. pp381-399
    ‘Research for repatriation practice’ with Fforde, C., Keeler, H., Pickering, M., & Goodman, A. pp541-564

  • With T. A. Mamaku, ‘The Importance of kaitiakitanga (guardianship and care) and rangahau (research) for the Karanga Aotearoa Repatriation Programme: Working with and for Ancestors: Collaboration in the Care and Study of Ancestral Remains. Meloche, C. H., Spake, L., and Nichols, K. L. (eds.) (Routledge 2020) pp91-102.

  • Identity in applied repatriation research and practice, Fforde, C., McKeown, T. C., Keeler, H., Ormond-Parker, L., Tapsell, P., Turnbull, P., Hemming, S., Rigney, D., Pickering, M., Aranui, A., Morris, W., Knapman, G. 2020. In: Meloche, C. H., Spake, L., and Nichols, K. L. (eds.) Working with and for Ancestors: Collaboration in the Care and Study of Ancestral Remains. London: (Routledge 2020) pp255-268.


Matiu Baker
Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Te Āti Awa, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Whakaue

Curator Mātauranga Māori

Matiu has a broad interest in the many areas of Mātauranga Māori. Recent research has included work on Māori photographs and photography of Māori in 19th century New Zealand.

Isaac Te Awa
Kāti Māmoe, Kāi Tahu, Waitaha, Ngā Puhi

Curator Mātauranga Māori

Isaac has a diverse interest within te ao Māori and a passion for the reconnection of taonga Māori to people, place and community. He is an active practitioner and researcher of Māori weaving and carving with a special interest in the revitalisation and documentation of traditional technique, practice, and knowledge.

Selected bibliography

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