It is arguably true that the past is a story about grandmothers. Part of my own past can be found in a spiral-bound 8B8 exercise book with a red cover that my mother keeps in a drawer by her bed. A couple of years before her death my grandmother bought the exercise book from the corner shop down the road and in her cramped, arthritic hand, she wrote the story of her life.Read More →


Place-based education — the idea that local communities provide the raw materials for learning — is having bit of a ‘moment’ in New Zealand right now. My own work in this field began in 2008 when I was invited to join a group of science educators in Taiwan. Read More →

A further strand of my work involves history, memory and nationhood. My research in the field of transitional justice highlights the contested nature of how we remember— and forget— in settler-colonial nations where past violence against indigenous populations remains unresolved. In 2019, I joined forces with historian, Vincent O’Malley, and a highly experienced team of iwi researchers from Waikato University and Victoria University of Wellington to explore these issues in depth as part of a Marsden-funded study. We ask: How do New Zealanders remember and forget difficult events in the colonial past? Why are some conflicts publicly remembered while others are forgotten or overlooked? AndRead More →

Powerful economic forces were at work in the early years of the 21st century. The subprime mortgage market crashed in 2008 and the recession that followed echoed around the world. A host of other shocks were experienced in New Zealand— the Canterbury earthquake in 2011 and severe droughts in 2012 and 2013 amongst others.Read More →