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Te Piri Poho


Our researchers are from all three Tikanga - Māori, Pasifika, and Pākehā, and are variously engaged in postgraduate and postdoctoral research. Those studying for postgraduate diplomas, masters degrees or doctorates are studying through a range of providers in Aotearoa New Zealand and abroad.

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Malcolm Andrews

Doctoral Candidate

BHSc (Double Majoring in Psychology & Health Promotion), Postgrad Dip Arts (Psychology), MA (with Distinction in Psychology).

Malcolm Andrews is a doctoral candidate at Massey University. His doctoral research explores the Pacific humanitarian response to disasters and climate change with the topic: “E sega ni vuka na kaka me biu toka na buina (A parrot will not fly leaving its tail behind)”: Building forward better in a climate of cascading disaster through a Pacific-Indigenous Health & Psychosocial perspective.

He aims to explore Pacific-diasporic response to disaster and how resilience manifests in Pacific communities before, during and after a disaster.

Malcolm is originally from the villages of Wainaloka in the Lomaiviti province, Makolei and Kasavu (Savusavu) in Vanua Levu. He has over 10 years' working experience in the health sector with professional roles at the Metro Auckland District Health Boards, Pasifika Futures Limited, and Pasifika Medical Association. Malcolm is also a Public Health researcher at the Auckland University of Technology, and a co-host for the Pacific Media Network Fijian language programme. Malcolm is married to Temukisa, and they have a 3-year-old daughter, Hadassah.


Publications Include:


Alefaio-Tugia, S., Andrews, M., Afeaki-Mafile`o, E., Satele, P., Carr, S., Haar, J., Hodgetts, D., Parker, J., Arrowsmith, J., Young-Hauser, A., & Harvey, J. (2022). 'Shifting the poverty lens for sustainable livelihoods: Pasifika perspectives on better quality of life.' In McLennan, S., Forster, M., Hazou, R., Littlewood, D., & Neill, C. (Eds.). Tu rangaranga: Rights, responsibilities and global citizenship in Aotearoa New Zealand (280-294). Massey University Press.


Rev'd Dr Miryam Clough

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

PhD in Theology and Religious Studies (University of Bristol/Trinity College Bristol)

BD in Hebrew/Old Testament (Otago University)

BA in English (Otago University)

LCH (College of Homeopathy, London)

Miryam is a Research Affiliate with the Centre for Theology and Public Issues (Otago University) and is a Resident Scholar and Adjunct Pouako/Tutor at Ōrongonui, the regional ministry training programme of Te Hui Amorangi ki Te Tai Tokerau.

Miryam’s doctoral thesis on Ireland’s Magdalen laundries examined shame, gender, and sexuality in the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland from feminist and postcolonial perspectives. Miryam studied liturgy at King’s College, London in the early 1990s, prior to training as a homeopath. Until 2019, she practiced and lectured in homeopathy in the UK, where she also worked in dementia care.


Miryam’s current research explores whakamā/shame and gender violence in Aotearoa and will give particular attention to the effects of colonisation and of church/state appropriation of indigenous, female, and LGBTQ+ identities, bodies, and sexualities.  Her aim is to offer practical and theologically based responses to these concerns to improve the lives of those marginalised by dominant cultures.

Publications include:

Book Review: The Crucifixion of Jesus: Torture, Sexual Abuse, and the Scandal of the Cross by David Tombs, The Shiloh Project, November 18, 2022.

‘Rahab, Jesus, and Genocide in Aotearoa,’ Miryam Clough, Wayne Te Kaawa and Benjamin Henri Ong, Anglican Journal of Theology in Aotearoa and Oceania. Issue 1: Spring 2022.

‘Getting our Language Right,’ Miryam Clough and Caroline Blyth in Accompanying Survivors of Sexual Harm: A Toolkit for Churches, Emily Colgan and Caroline Blyth eds. The Shiloh Project, 2022.


Vocation and Violence: The Church and #MeToo, Routledge, 2022

‘Keeping Secrets: The Church of England and Shame’ in Letters to a Broken Church, Janet Fife and Gilo eds. Ekklesia, 2019

Shame, the Church and the Regulation of Female Sexuality, Routledge, 2017

‘Shame: A risky emotion in dementia care’, January 2016, Journal of Dementia Care 24(6):32-34

Atoning Shame?’ August 2014, Feminist Theology 23(1):6-17

‘Managing shame in the consulting room’, Autumn 2012, The Homeopath 31:2

‘Shame and organisations’, May 2010, The International Journal of Leadership in Public Services 6(1):25-33


Rev'd Dr Joe McGarry

Kaiako / Lecturer & Research Fellow

Joe’s principal research interests surround theologies of discipleship and spiritual formation, with a particular eye towards their integration into the church’s everyday life.


He has recently been awarded a research fellowship through Laidlaw College and is investigating moral reasoning in scripture and the early church.

His wider interests surrounding spiritual formation and discipleship have led him to develop research projects in the specific theology of Dietrich Bonhoeffer; theological anthropology and the imago dei; historical investigations in doctrines of sanctification, discipleship, and ethics; preaching and the role of proclamation in spiritual formation; the impact of dogmatic location on spirituality; the formal relationship between discipleship and theological education; and theological formation as a mode of discipleship.

Joe’s doctoral thesis researched formation in Christ in the theology of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, paying particular attention to how prior dogmatic categories such as Christology, ecclesiology, and theological anthropology shape and determine how Christian formation is understood.


Rev'd Te Hira Paenga

Te Ahorangi / Doctoral Candidate

I am extremely passionate about my research - Theology of Māori performing arts (Kapahaka) gifted to me by my mentor and role model, Archdeacon Dr Hone Kaa of Ngāti Porou and Ngāti Kahungunu.


Koro Hone was instrumental in pushing me to pursue Theology through a Māori (Ngāti Porou) hermeneutic.

Koro Hone told me in his deep James Earl Jones-baritone voice  “I have your thesis topic, you can study haka, waiata and poi of Ngāti Porou and you can write it in Ngāti Porou dialect”. 


With a big sigh, I said “wow that's a good idea.” He didn't know that I was about to submit my MA dissertation and complete my MA studies. It took ten years for it to sink in, 2019 I accepted his challenge. My thesis aims to formalise a theology of MPA that is currently present amongst Māori cultural clubs, parishes, iwi, hapū, marae, schools and communities throughout Aotearoa.


This thesis will provide a critical explanation of contemporary and traditional MPA compositions that have biblical themes and references from disciplines such as waiata tira (choral), whakaeke (entry), mōteatea (traditional chant), poi, waiata-a-ringa (action song) haka and whakawātea (exit). Such compositions will provide the basis for my theological analysis of Māori performing arts.

I am ambitious that this thesis, “Towards a Model of Theology for Traditional Māori Performing arts,” will be the catalyst for pushing theological boundaries while acknowledging MPA and its pioneers over the years. This thesis hopes to provide depth and breadth to Māori theology and resources for those in MPA.

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Scott Parekowhai

Master's Candidate

Bachelor of Health Science (University of Auckland)

Diploma of Oral Māori Fluency (Te Wananga Takiura o Nga Kura)

Scott has a passion for supporting whānau Māori, and in particular, rangatahi Māori (Māori youth).

With an undergraduate specialisation in hauora Māori, Scott's pursuit of a Master of Chaplaincy extends his practice further, particularly with a lens of supporting the wairuatanga of whānau.


His research project seeks to investigate the current lived experience and challenges facing tauira Māori (Māori students) in wānanga Māori (Māori universities) with a focus on understanding how chaplaincy should best support them.


Rev’d Neihana Reihana

 Postgrad Diploma Candidate

BBus, Postgrad Sec. Teaching, Grad Diploma Theo, Te Pīnakitanga ki te Reo Kairangi, Te Pōkaitahi Reo.

Currently completing his Postgraduate Diploma in Pastoral Theology at the University of Otago.

Neihana has whakapapa to Raukawa and Ngāti Ranginui.

He is a residential scholarship student at St John’s College. Neihana is a deacon in Te Pīhopatanga o Te Tai Tokerau. He is married to Elena Reihana. They have two children, Whakaaria and Mākoha.


Neihana’s dissertation is titled: “Kia karakia, kia īnoi rānei tātou.” It is a study of the relationship between karakia tawhito (ancient Māori incantation) and karakia/īnoi Karaitiana (Christian prayer from Scripture and tradition). Neihana is examining some of their similarities, in thought and practice, and their differences. His dissertation is written in te reo Māori.

His study interests are concerned with mātauranga Māori, theology, anthropology, Aotearoa history and indigenous theology. Neihana is a trustee for Oati. He is also a teaching fellow for Venn Foundation which focuses on Christian formation.


Rev'd Joshua Taylor

Doctoral Candidate

Bachelor of Theology (Laidlaw College), Master of Ministry (Otago University)

Joshua is an Anglican Priest from the Diocese of Christchurch. He has experience in youth ministry and several years as a Vicar in Timaru. Joshua is passionate about theology grounded in the context of the church and is particularly interested in the areas of systematic theology, practical theology, and spiritual formation for leadership.

Joshua is a qualified spiritual director through Spiritual Growth Ministries NZ. He is passionate about mentoring Pastors and Christian leaders and thinking about formation for ministry. 


Joshua is currently working on a PhD through Otago University. His thesis is titled: “Speaking of Sin in 21st Century Aotearoa.” What this project seeks to explore are the difficulties in speaking about sin in 21st century Aotearoa. This project will undertake theological reflection on how the church might talk about sin, grounding the project in the wider discussion around sin in scripture and various schools of thought, with a focus on the mission of the church in society. Contemporary issues in talking about sin in a secular age will be reflected upon. Joshua hopes that this thesis will help the church think constructively about how to address the doctrine of sin in ways that will emphasize the good news of the gospel and encourage the church in its mission in Aotearoa today. 

Joshua is married to Jo and they have three girls: Phoebe, Esther, and Eve. 

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Tumanako Tomo

Doctoral Candidate

BSW (Bachelor of Social Work), MAIK (Masters of Applied Indigenous Knowledge)

Ko Waikato, ko Ngāti Kauwhata, ko Ngāti Raukawa, ko Ngāti Rangitāne, ko Kati Ngai Tahu ōku Iwi. Ko Niā Tomo tōku hoa rangatira, ko Te Puaha Tomo ta maua tamaiti.  

Tumanako’s background is working in Child Adolescent Mental Health specialising as a clinical social worker. He has previously worked in a Kaupapa Māori multi-disciplinary team (Hekākano Team) in the Counties District Health Board and Youth Forensics team at the Auckland District Health Board.


Tumanako is completing his PhD through Te Whare Wananga O Awanuiarangi. His PhD topic is how Mātauranga Māori and medical science can be used together to support tamariki with behavioral challenges and collect data through the facilitation of the program ‘Kia Tau Bro’. With the intention to contribute a well-informed resource that provides an academic, cultural, and evidenced-based rationale; complete pre and post formative evaluation with teacher whanau and children; and provide an indigenous ethnographic. This would hopefully support more creative and culturally responsive programs and interventions to help support Māori whanau and reduce negative Health and Justice disparities between Māori and non-Māori within Aotearoa. This research is in support of Te Haahi Mihingare values in supporting the Hauora of whanau Maori.


Tumanako is currently working at The University of Auckland as a Teaching Fellow in the School of Counselling, Human Services and Social Work and serves on the vestry at Te Mihana as the Peoples Warden. His study interests are in Mātauranga Māori, Child Adolescent Mental Health and Māori models of health.


Ruth Wivell

Postgraduate Diploma Candidate

BArch (Hons), Victoria University of Wellington

Ruth is completing a Graduate Diploma in Theology at Charles Sturt University and studying towards a Postgraduate Diploma in Theology at the University of Otago.

She was the 2021 recipient of the Ruth Dicker Prize for Greek at the United Theological College.

Her research interests include trauma hermeneutics, feminist theologies, ecotheology, and contextual biblical study. Ruth writes poetry and loves to preach.

Publications include:

Wivell, R. (2023). ‘Who Touched Me? Embodied Witness as Public Theology’. The International Journal of Public Theology.


Wivell, R. (2022). A poem ‘Core Samples’.


Wivell, R. (2020). ‘Kids and Creation: Helping Kids to find Solace in Nature During COVID-19’.

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