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Rachel Martin 2020 image 1xSenior Lecturer, Associate Dean Māori | Manupiki Māori
Member of the Kaiāwhina Māori – Māori student support team
BEd(Otago) MEd PhD(Cant) DipTchg(DCE) GDipHP CAT(ChCh CE) TTC

Kāi Tahu, Kāti Māmoe, Waitaha

Dunedin Campus
Waea | Tel +64 3 479 4920
Īmēra | Email
Tari | Office G02, College of Education Registry Building, 145 Union Street East, Dunedin

Biography and Research Interests

Dr Rachel Martin affiliates to the Waitaha, Kāti Mamoe and Ngāi Tahu tribe in the South Island from Kaikōura to Rākiura. My research is inclusive of culturally and linguistically sustaining te tiriti based frameworks for all participants.

My research interests are based on making a difference for Māori communities. I completed my PhD in 2017 which investigated how parents who are second language learners and speakers of te reo Māori nurture their children as Māori in the region of Christchurch. Regional research is vital for language growth, and significant in language revitalisation efforts.

One of the aims of Ngāi Tahu and other government agencies is to improve the intergenerational transmission of te reo Māori and speaking Māori in the home to ensure the survival of te reo. Speaking te reo Māori in the home and in the educational environment is vital to its survival.

I am currently working on a TLRI (Teaching and Learning Research Initiative) with researchers from University of Canterbury which uses a collaborative approach to socio-emotional wellbeing is guided by Kaupapa Māori research principles, involving teachers, whānau, hapū, and iwi. This aims research aims to support teachers to enhance and sustain student wellbeing in the classroom, through socio-emotional learning (SEL) education. It will enable teachers to develop and integrate these SEL strategies within their programmes to enhance support for the identities, languages and cultures of their students. I am also part of a collaborative team completing research looking at bilingual development in early literacy skills at Tuahiwi school as part of the Better Start Literacy and Learning theme National Science Challenge project.

I am a trained primary teacher and my focus is on Māori education and the importance of te reo Māori in all primary schools. Current research also focuses on the development of te reo Māori in College of Education courses. I have worked at Canterbury University College of Education since 1999 and joined the Dunedin College of Education University of Otago in 2019.

Teaching Sectors

  • Undergraduate and Postgraduate
  • Primary Education
  • Teaching Areas
  • Te reo Māori in English medium schools
  • Social Science
  • Learning Languages
  • Inclusive Education

Research Interests

  • Bilingual education
  • Māori Education
  • Intergenerational transmission of te reo Māori
  • Intergenerational trauma and historical trauma
  • Socio-emotional wellbeing for Māori in Aotearoa
  • Kaupapa Māori research
  • Primary teacher education
  • Te reo Māori on line learning
  • Indigenous education


Denston, A., Martin, R., Fickel, L. H., & O'Toole, V. (2023). Re-engaging a culturally and linguistically holistic approach to education in Aotearoa New Zealand: How teachers’ noticing fosters children’s socio-emotional development. In A. Kamp, C. Brown, T. McMenamin & V. O'Toole (Eds.), Wellbeing: Global policies and perspectives: Insights from Aotearoa New Zealand and beyond. (pp. 101-122). Oxford, UK: Peter Lang. doi: 10.3726/b18360

Denston, A., Martin, R., Taite-Pitama, M., Green, A., Gough, R., & Gillon, G. (2022). Teacher experiences and perceptions related to developing a culturally and linguistically responsive emergent bilingual literacy program in Aotearoa New Zealand: A collaborative case study. Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, 51(2). doi: 10.55146/ajie.v51i2.17

Gaches, S., Martin, R., Clark, B., & Paerata, M. (2022). Educating the teacher educators: Embedding Te Tiriti o Waitangi relationships in ongoing professional learning and development. Asia-Pacific Journal of Research in Early Childhood Education, 16(3), 99-121. doi: 10.17206/apjrece.2022.16.3.99

Denston, A., Martin, R., Fickel, L. H., & O'Toole, V. (2022). Strengthening socio-emotional learning in Aotearoa New Zealand: Teacher and whānau understandings of wellbeing. New Zealand Journal of Educational Studies, 57, 385-406. doi: 10.1007/s40841-022-00261-4

Martin, R., & Denston, A. (2022). Challenging existing spaces: Deconstructing indigenous power imbalances within Aotearoa New Zealand. In L. C. Assaf, P. Sowa & K. Zammit (Eds.), Global meaning making: Disrupting and interrogating international language and literacy research and teaching: Advances in research on teaching (Vol. 39). (pp. 101-116). Bingley, UK: Emerald. doi: 10.1108/S1479-368720220000039007

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