MASS Conference 2016 - Nui te Kōrero: Rewriting national narratives

Once every two years the Māori social science community comes together to share our research, ideas, questions, issues and successes from the world of Māori social science. This year, our MASS Conference will be held on 9-11 November 2016 at Victoria University of Wellington.

Our theme for the conference is Nui te Kōrero: Rewriting National Narratives. It invites us to think about the narratives or assumptions that underpin the beliefs and practices in our various social science spaces. It also asks us to consider how our social science work, our research and our teaching, is bringing more understanding and more awareness of Māori narratives, experiences or viewpoints to the fore.

Click here to see our full programme for the Conference.

Conference registration

We are looking forward to hosting you at Te Herenga Waka Marae (46 Kelburn Parade, Kelburn) and surrounding venues on Victoria University of Wellington's Kelburn campus.

The conference fees cover all venue, speaker, conference pack and catering costs. The full and student/community rates also include the conference dinner. The day registration does not include the conference dinner.

Full registration - $250 (all three days)
Student/Community registration - $150 (all three days)
Day registration - $85 (one day only)

Register for the conference at

Keynote speakers

We are excited to announce a great line-up of keynotes for this year’s conference.

Professor John Maynard, University of Newcastle

Professor John Maynard is a Worimi Aboriginal man from the Port Stephens region of New South Wales. He is currently Chair of Aboriginal History at the University of Newcastle and Director of the Purai Global Indigenous and Diaspora Research Studies centre. He has held several major positions and served on numerous prominent organizations and committees including, Deputy Chairperson of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS), Executive Committee of the Australian Historical Association, New South Wales History Council, Indigenous Higher Education Advisory Council (IHEAC), Australian Research Council College of Experts – Deputy Chair Humanities, National Indigenous Research and Knowledge Network (NIRAKN) and a Fulbright Ambassador. He was the recipient of the Aboriginal History (Australian National University) Stanner Fellowship 1996, the New South Wales Premiers Indigenous History Fellow 2003, Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow 2004, University of Newcastle Researcher of the Year 2008 and 2012 and Australian National University Allan Martin History Lecturer 2010. In 2014 he was elected a member of the prestigious Australian Social Sciences Academy. He gained his PhD in 2003, examining the rise of early Aboriginal political activism. He has worked with and within many Aboriginal communities, urban, rural and remote. Professor Maynard’s publications have concentrated on the intersections of Aboriginal political and social history, and the history of Australian race relations. He is the author of several books, including Aboriginal Stars of the Turf, Fight for Liberty and Freedom, The Aboriginal Soccer Tribe, Aborigines and the Sport of Kings and True Light and Shade: An Aboriginal Perspective of Joseph Lycett's Art. He has appeared on numerous television and radio programs including documentaries The Track, The Colony, Vote Yes for Aborigines, Captain Cook Obsession and Discovery, Outback United, Lachlan Macquarie - The Father of Australia, The Years That Made Us, Australia – The Story of Us and Fred Maynard Aboriginal Patriot.

Dr Aroha Harris, University of Auckland

Dr Aroha Harris (Te Rarawa and Ngāpuhi) is a senior lecturer in history at the University of Auckland, and member of the Waitangi Tribunal. Her most recent book was a collaboration with Emeritus Professor Atholl Anderson and the late Dame Professor Judith Binney – Tangata Whenua: An Illustrated History (2014), a history of Māori from the ancient past until the present. Aroha has a wide range of academic and applied historical research experience, including research for the negotiation and settlement of historical Treaty of Waitangi claims. She has also published poetry and short fiction.

Dr Jo Smith, Victoria University of Wellington

Jo Smith (Kāi Tahu, Kāti Māmoe and Waitaha) researches and teaches in the Media Studies Programme at Victoria University of Wellington. Her work examines ways in which media technologies, institutions and aesthetic practices help shape notions of identity, nationhood and community. Her book Māori Television: the first ten years (forthcoming from AUP) draws on kōrero from those who have a stake in Māori Television (including Māori TV staff, funders, independent media makers and audiences) to shine light on the complex dynamics underpinning State-funded Māori media.


The MASS Conference Committee warmly invites you to submit 200-300 word abstracts, in te reo Maori or English, for presentations that address the theme of Nui te Korero: Rewriting National Narratives. This theme provides an opportunity to not only report, reflect upon, develop, critique and challenge the current shape and direction of Maori social science but also to look to the future and engage your colleagues in creative possibilities. We encourage you to interpret the theme as it best suits your context.

Abstracts will undergo a double-blind peer review process and will be assessed against the following criteria:

  • Relevance to the theme
  • Clarity of session objectives/topic
  • Contribution to Maori social science scholarship
  • Appeal to MASS audience
  • Well written (language, grammar etc.)

When submitting your abstract, you will need to provide your:

  • First name
  • Last name
  • Email address
  • Tribal affiliation/s
  • Institution/organisation (if any)
  • Presentation title
  • Presentation abstract (200-300 words)
  • Co-author/s’ names (if any)
  • Equipment requirements

Abstracts are due by 5pm Monday 5 September 2016. Early submission is encouraged though so, if you want to find out earlier whether your abstract has been accepted, submit it earlier.

Submit your abstracts at

We look forward to seeing you at the conference in November!

For further enquries about the conference, contact