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Māori Postgraduate Support Adviser

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Pete Russell

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Pete Russell

Pete Russell (Ngāpuhi) is the Māori Postgraduate Support Adviser within the Graduate Research School supporting Māori Postgraduate students.

Pete has worked at the University of Otago in Marine Science, Surveying and Physics. He is a Teaching Fellow in Marine Science on the Oceanography and Aquaculture & Fisheries degree programmes and lectures in Physical & Biological Oceanography, Marine Renewable Energy and Customary Fisheries. Pete is also an Associate Investigator on the He Pātaka Waiora research project led by Kati Hurirapa Runaka ki Puketeraki. Pete finished his PhD in 2013 in Physical Oceanography and prior to that completed an MSc in Electronics so having spent some time in postgraduate study he understands the many issues postgraduate students face.

Pete is able to assist you with some of the challenges you may face as a postgraduate student by:

  • acting as a link to the resources offered by the University;
  • offering workshops, regular research hui and seminars;
  • acting in an advocacy capacity;
  • offering support to individual students;
  • offering advice on scholarships; and,
  • providing opportunities for you to meet other Māori postgraduate students and staff at Otago and nationally.

If you are struggling and would like someone to talk ideas over with please feel to contact Pete:

Tel 64 3 479 8082
Office: G.02, 103 St David Street
Hours: Wednesday - 8:30am to 12 noon. Thursday and Friday - 8:30am to 5:00pm

Events, Services & Opportunities

The purpose of the Māori post graduate support programme is to encourage the development of excellent scholars, researchers and future leaders through various support mechanisms, including seminars, workshops and training. As part of this programme, there are regular writing days, retreats, hui and workshops.


Hui are held throughout the year from noon to 2:00pm. Lunch is provided so it is important to register your attendance for catering purposes. If you have special dietary requirements it is important to let us know.

Please click on the links below to register for the 2019 hui events:

Thursday, 18 July
Thursday, 26 September
Thursday, 5 December

Writing Days

There are regular Writing Days for Māori postgraduate candidates scheduled for those enrolled in a thesis who wish to get together for a chance to write in a group setting. Many candidates find this process extremely useful. Lunch is provided. If you would like to know more about these writing days, please contact Pete at To register to attend any of the following writing days, please select the links below and enter your name etc.

18 and 19 July
15 and 16 August
12 and 13 September
17 and 18 October

Multi Day Writing Retreats

Writing retreats are an opportunity for Māori postgraduate candidates to retire to a quiet peaceful location and realise writing goals. Writing is done either in solitude or in a group setting with timed blocks of writing and regular breaks. Meals are provided. Distance students may be assisted with travel costs. For more details email Pete at

The dates of the 2019 writing retreats are as follows:

18 to 21 November

Upcoming Postgraduate Workshops

Few students arrive at a thesis knowing exactly what to do and how to do it. Most find it beneficial to attend some of the many courses offered. These courses help you to work smarter, understand the process and expectations and give you helpful practical advice on everything from software, to the research process to writing and publishing.

Graduate Research School

To find out about all the workshops and events offered to Doctoral and Master's Thesis candidates by the Graduate Research School. Visit the Graduate Research School Workshops and Events Page.

H.E.D.C and the Student Learning Centre

To find out about the many workshops on offer through H.E.D.C and the Student Learning Centre: workshop registration page. Here you'll find workshops on a number of topics including getting started, what is entailed in the research journey, tips for procrastinators, how to structure a thesis, how to start a thesis and how to finish it.

There are also a number of resources available to download on the actual writing of a thesis. Visit the Writing of a Thesis page.

The Library

Every semester the library runs workshops specifically for Postgraduate students. Check out their upcoming courses via the workshop registration page.

I.T.S Training

I.T.S run numerous courses on using the computer software that may be of use to your research including EndNote for bibliographies, Word for long documents and conference poster preparation.  To find out more about courses that might help you, visit the I.T.S training page.