Francesca Marzatico image

PhD (Naples), MASt – DEA (Salamanca), LLM (Hons)(Naples), LLB-Grado (Hons)(Salamanca)

Tel: +64 3 479 0745
Room: Surveying building, 1st floor, Room 124


Lecturer, Kaiāwhina and Pacific Islands liaison

I am a land governance expert and I have recently joined the University of Otago after more than 20 years spent working in post conflict and transitional countries on human rights, natural resources governance, indigenous people's land rights and traditional governance.

I have worked for several United Nations (UN) agencies (UNFAO, UNDP, UNHABITAT, IOM), multilateral development banks (ADB and WB) and non-governmental organisations, in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Pacific, providing technical advice to governments and international organisations on policy making, legislative development, planning and project formulation with the aim of enhancing land governance.

I am Italian and I moved to Aotearoa in 2019. I speak several languages and I have also started my journey to learn Te Reo and Tikanga Māori.

My research purpose is to enhance land governance through engagement of indigenous communities and inclusive participation of women, youth, and other vulnerable groups. I have a strong research interest in the Pacific.

As Kaiāwhina and Pacific Islands liaison I aim at supporting Māori and Pacific students at the School of Surveying. I am available in person and online. Just pass by my office or drop me an email if you would like to meet me.


  • SURV 206 Land tenure 1 (coordinator)
  • SURV 306 Land tenure 2 (coordinator)
  • SURV 456/556 Land tenure 3 / Advanced land tenure (coordinator)
  • GEOG 401 Theories of Development (contributor module 2)

Research interests

My research interests originate from my work and experience in the past 20 years and focus on traditional governance, land tenure and natural resources governance, climate change, human mobility, conflicts and participation of affected communities in development. I am also researching on gender based violence, displacement and dispossession and on the nexus between natural resource exploitation, climate change and human mobility.

The School of Surveying is a great place to study and offers a fabulous research environment. I endeavour to offer interesting thesis topics and thorough supervision. Please feel free to contact me if you are interested in working with me (Interns/Master/PhD).

Research themes

  • Governance of land and natural resources
  • Women and Land
  • Land and Traditional Governance
  • Climate related migration


Some current projects

  • Gender based violence and land dispossession
  • Land Governance and traditional governance in the Pacific
  • Climate change in the Pacific: impacts on land and housing in Aotearoa (in collaboration with Dr James Berghan)
  • Measuring credibility in international humanitarian and development programming

Some completed projects

  • Anthropological study on customs and traditions (Solomon Islands)
  • Grievance Redress Mechanisms (Mongolia)
  • Housing Land and Property rights of Internally Displaced Persons (Myanmar)
  • Large scale infrastructure development and land rights (South Sudan)
  • Land Rights and Mine Action (South Sudan)


School of Surveying

  • School of Surveying Research Seminar coordinator (2022 – )
  • School of Surveying Kaiāwhina
  • School of Surveying Pacific students liaison
  • School of Surveying Auckland liaison


Naidoo, S., Marzatico, F., & Monaghan, L. (2013). Mine action and land rights in South Sudan: Key findings and recommendations. (pp. 1-51). Geneva, Switzerland: Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) / Centre International de Déminage Humanitaire Genève (CIDHG) and the Norwegian Refugee Council. Retrieved from
Working Paper; Discussion Paper; Technical Report
Marzatico, F. (2011). Southern Sudan referendum on self-determination: Legal challenges and procedural solutions. Journal of African Elections, 10(1), 1-32.
Journal - Research Article
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