Photo: University of Waikato

Dr Nēpia Mahuika
(Ngāti Porou)

Dr Nēpia Mahuika is Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Waikato, where he teaches courses in New Zealand History, Oral History, and Historical Methodology and Theory.

Dr Mahuika specialises in Māori and Indigenous History, with a particular focus on Māori spirituality and beliefs. He will use the Judith Binney Fellowship to support completion of a research project on the history of makutu in Aotearoa New Zealand. His current focus on the history of makutu has been driven by personal experiences and kōrero, ongoing teaching and research, and a desire to bring a deeper understanding to a topic that has often been misunderstood and sensationalised in ‘mainstream’ Aotearoa.

Dr Mahuika is the author of the forthcoming Indigenous Oral History: Rethinking the Form, Politics, Methods and Theories of Oral History (OUP, New York). Dr Mahuika’s research on makutu is scheduled to be published in 2020.


Three Judith Binney Writing Awards to support research and writing that explores and expands our understanding of New Zealand history have been awarded to Ryan Bodman, Morgan Godfery and Dr Melissa Matutina Williams.

Photo: Claire Eastham-Farrelly

Ryan Bodman

Ryan Bodman is a Mt Maunganui-raised, Auckland-based historian. He has worked as a report writer for the Waitangi Tribunal and on independent contracts for New Zealand publishers.

Ryan has a long-standing interest in working-class history and his current project is a social and cultural history of rugby league in this country. Rugby League: A New Zealand History will examine the sport’s establishment and development in New Zealand from 1907 to the present day, exploring the sport’s popularity amongst numerous and diverse communities, including blue-collar working class New Zealanders, Irish Catholics, Kīngitanga Māori and Pacific Island diaspora communities.

Morgan Godfery 
(Ngāti Awa, Samoa)

Morgan Godfery is a Wellington-based public policy associate at The Workshop – a policy thinktank. An author and part-time journalist, he regularly appears on radio and television as a political commentator.

Morgan is the author of two books: Māui Street (BWB Text, 2018) and The Interregnum: Rethinking New Zealand (ed., BWB Text, 2016). He has authored numerous academic chapters and peer-reviewed journal articles and sits on the board of the Legal Issues Centre at the University of Otago.

The Judith Binney Writing Award will support his current research and writing for a forthcoming book called Dissent: A New Zealand Anthology, which traces key moments in New Zealand’s history of resistance, protest and change.

Dr Melissa Matutina Williams 
(Te Rarawa, Ngāti Maru)

Dr Melissa Matutina Williams is an independent historian and researcher specialising in Māori and New Zealand history. Her work encompasses a broad range of inter-related themes and topics, including oral histories of whānau and tribal communities.

Dr Williams is the author of Panguru and the City: Kāinga Tahi, Kāinga Rua: An Urban Migration History (BWB, 2015), winner of the E. H. McCormick Best First Book Award at the 2016 Ockham New Zealand Book awards.

The Judith Binney Writing Award will support the writing of Wāhine Māori: Women Who Moved Us – a collaborative project providing a commentary on the ways in which Māori women in the past continue to influence and shape the aspirations of Māori women today