Mere Skerrett

Senior Lecturer in Teacher Education
School of Education

Teaching in 2020


EdD Waik; M.Phil (1st Class Honours) Auck; Ika-a-Whiro, Te Panekiretanga o te Reo TWoA, Waik; B.Ed Waik; Higher DipTchg Waik; DipTchg(ECE) Waik; DipTchg (Primary) Waik; Whakapakari Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust; Cert BilEd Waik.


Mere has a background in teaching in early childhood, with a focus on Kōhanga Reo. She has continued to gain further qualifications in teaching students who are Māori/English bilinguals, including recently graduating from Te Panekiretanga o te Reo, the Institute of Excellence in Māori Language, which provides the most advanced Māori language academic course for adult students across New Zealand.  Mere has led the development of Te Iti Rearea, an initial teacher education programme which enables students to teach in both the early childhood and primary sectors. She also successfully led the development of the Exemplary Masters of Teaching and Learning programme with an Early Childhood Endorsement, Te Kahukiwi o Aotearoa. She has also been an International Research Fellow with the Velma E. Schmidt International Critical Childhood Policy Studies Collaborative under the leadership of Professor Gaile Cannella.

Iwi affiliations

Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Rakiāmoa, Ngāti Ruahikihiki, Ngāti Māhuta, Ngāti Unu, Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Te Rangiunuora, Ngāti Pūkeko

Current research projects

  • Transition across bilingual education settings (MOE project)
  • Royal Society New Zealand Catalyst Seeding Project Talking Matters: Growing a Networked Research Community (Auckland University)
  • Oral histories, Māori women involved in Ngā Wāhine Toko i te Ora, Rāpaki Branch

Reseach interests

  • Bilingual Education - Second language early childhood teaching methodologies
  • Language Development in young children (reading, writing as well as aural, oral)
  • Equity issues first as they relate to Māori as Tāngata Whenua
    • Secondly as they relate to women's issues and children's rights
  • Māori education (past and present) including pedagogies and assessment
  • Māori politics (its progression)

Supervision interests

I currently supervise doctoral students in the area of bilingual education and special needs in Māori educational settings and one international student.

Recently completed supervisions

Doctoral thesis completions

Rachel Martin (2017) Te Whakarauora Reo Nō Tuawhakarere - Giving our children what we missed out on: Māori language revitalisation for Māori/English bilingualism. Canterbury University. Supervised by Mere Skerrett with Angus Macfarlane.

Kiri Fortune (2016). E kore e piri te uku ki te rino: He huarahi hei tautoko i ngā akonga hauā i roto i ngā horopaki reo Māori. The pathways forward in supporting Māori learners with special needs in Māori medium education settings. Supervised by Mere Skerrett and Sonja Macfarlane.

Master’s thesis completions

Morehu Flutey-Henare (2014) Kaupapa: Kaitaka ā Te Rangiamo. Te Wānanga o Aotearoa. Supervised by Mere Skerrett.

Nichole Gully (2011) Master’s thesis. ‘Me Whita, Kia Whita! Hold Fast to Hasten the Blaze! The Development of an Accelerative Approach to acquiring te Reo Māori. Kaupapa: Development of a tool progressing adult acquisition of te reo Māori through gestural methods’ , Canterbury University. Supervised by Mere Skerrett. Kate Cherrington (2007) Kaupapa: Te Hitori o te Wānanga o Aotearoa - historical musings from an insider perspective of development of the Wānanga in the tertiary context of Aotearoa. Support Supervisor.

Recent publications

Recent journal articles and book chapters

Skerrett, M., & Ritchie, J. (2020, In Press). Te Rangatiratanga o te Reo: Sovereignty in Indigenous Languages. Paper written for AERA, San Francisco, April.

Skerrett, M. (2020, In Press). Interaction between Māori “Indigenous” Educational Systems and the “Imposed” Educational Systems of the West. In Brill's Series History of Early Modern Educational Thought.

Skerrett, M. (2020, In Press). The Descendants of the Gods: Māori Indigenous Childhoods.  In Global Childhoods Handbook, Sage Publications.

Skerrett, M., & Ritchie. (2020, In Press) Bilingualism and Multilingualism in Early Childhood Education in Aotearoa New Zealand. Bloomsbury Education and Childhood Studies.

Skerrett, M. (2020). Early years bilingual language teachers for a diverse Aotearoa New Zealand. In Te Aotūroa Tātaki (2nd ed) Wellington, New Zealand, NZCER Press (pp. 18-36).

Pence A., Skerrett M. (2020) Indigenous Knowledges, Early Childhood Sociocultural Contexts. In: Peters M. (eds) Encyclopedia of Teacher Education. Springer, Singapore, 1-6.

Grace, R., Skerrett, M., Ritchie, J., Greenwood, M., & Trudgett, M. (2020). Early childhood education and care for Indigenous children and their families from colonised nations: working towards culturally meaningful service provision. Routledge International Handbook of Young Children's Rights, 315-330.

Ritchie, J. & Skerrett, M. (2019). Frayed and fragmented: Te Whāriki unwoven. In A. Gunn & J. Nuttall (Eds.), Weaving Te Whāriki: Aotearoa New Zealand’s Early Childhood Curriculum Framework in Theory and Practice, 3rd ed. Wellington, New Zealand, NZCER Press (pp. 73-89).

Skerrett, M., & Ritchie, J. (2019). Te wai a Rona. The well-spring that never dries up – Whānau pedagogies and curriculum. In A. Pence & J. Harvell (Eds.), Pedagogies for Diverse Contexts. London: Routledge. (pp. 47-62). London: Routledge.

Grace, R., Skerrett, M., Ritchie, J., Greenwood, M. (2018). (In Press) Indigenous children and early education transitions: The provision of appropriate early childhood education and care services for Indigenous children and their families from colonized nations. In The Routledge International Handbook of Young Children’s Rights. Routledge.

Skerrett, M. (2018). Pedagogical intentions: Enacting a “refreshed” bicultural curriculum positioned at the crossroads of colonial relations, biocultural education, and critical literacy. Early Childhood Folio 2(1) 3-8. Wellington, New Zealand: NZCER: doi:

Skerrett M., Ritchie J. (2018) Ara Mai He Tetekura: Māori Knowledge Systems That Enable Ecological and Sociolinguistic Survival in Aotearoa. In: Cutter-Mackenzie A., Malone K., Barratt Hacking E. (eds) Research Handbook on Childhoodnature. Springer International Handbooks of Education. Springer, Cham: doi:

Skerrett, M. (2017). Te Whanaungatanga o te Mātauranga Māori me te Rangahau Kaupapa Māori. In A. McFarland & N. Matthews (Ed.), He kete Whakawaitara – He whakatara ā-Rangahau Wellington, New Zealand. Te Rūnanga o Aotearoa mō te Rangahau i te Mātauranga 105 – 116.

Skerrett, M. (2017). Te Kōhanga Reo: early childhood education and the politics of language and cultural maintenance in Aotearoa, New Zealand–A personal-political story. In L. Millar, C.L. Cameron, C. Dalli, & N. Barbour (Eds.), The SAGE Handbook of Early Childhood Policy, 433-451.

Skerrett, M. (2017). Colonialism, Māori Early Childhood, Language and the Curriculum. In E.A. McKinley L.T. Smith (eds.), Handbook of Indigenous Education, 1-22. Australia, Springer. doi:10.1007/978-981-10-1839-8_17-1

Skerrett, M. (2017). Countering the dominance of a global north in early childhood education through an Indigenous lens in the global south. Global Studies of Childhood, 7(2), 84-98.

Skerrett, M. (2016) The Determinants of 'Quality' in Aotearoa/New Zealand: Māori Perspectives. In G.S Cannella, M.S. Pérez and I.F. Lee (Ed.), Critical Examinations of Quality in Childhood Education and Care: Regulation, Disqualification, and Erasure: 59-82. New York: Peter Lang. (Chapter in Book).

Skerrett, M. & Ritchie, J. (2016). Kia tū taiea: Honouring relationships. Paper for special issue of Revue Internationale d’Éducation SÈVRES ‘Trust, Education and Authority’ 72|2016, 103-113.

Skerrett, M. (2014). Dismantling colonial myths: Centralising Māori language in education. Early childhood education in Aotearoa New Zealand: History, pedagogy, and liberation. (pp. 10-34). New York:Palgrave Macmillan. DOI: 10.1057/9781137375797.0004.

Skerrett, M. (2014). Policy and Inhibiters of bicultural/bilingual advancement Early childhood education in Aotearoa New Zealand: History, pedagogy, and liberation. (pp. 35-55). New York:Palgrave Macmillan. DOI: 10.1057/9781137375797.0004.

Skerrett, M. (2014). Crown breaches, neoliberal reforms, and radical pedagogy Early childhood education in Aotearoa New Zealand: History, pedagogy, and liberation. (pp. 56-69). New York:Palgrave Macmillan. DOI: 10.1057/9781137375797.0004.

Ritchie, J. & Skerrett, M. (2014). Introduction and overview. Early childhood education in Aotearoa New Zealand: History, pedagogy, and liberation. (pp. 1-9). New York:Palgrave Macmillan. DOI: 10.1057/9781137375797.0004.

Skerrett, M. & Ritchie, J. (2014). Liberatory Praxis: Conclusions. Early childhood education in Aotearoa New Zealand: History, pedagogy, and liberation. (pp. 130-136). New York:Palgrave Macmillan. DOI: 10.1057/9781137375797.0004.

Ritchie, J., & Skerrett, M. (2014). Early childhood education in Aotearoa New Zealand: History, pedagogy, and liberation. New York:Palgrave Macmillan. DOI: 10.1057/9781137375797.0004.

Ritchie, J., Skerrett, M., and Rau, C. (2014). Countercolonial Unveiling of Neoliberal Discourses in Aotearoa New Zealand. In International Review of Qualitative Research, Vol. 7, No. 1 (p-p 111-129). DOI: 10.1525/irqr.2014.7.1.111.

Skerrett, M. (2014). Quality for Learners in Early Childhood Settings, Aotearoa/New Zealand: Māori Perspectives has been confirmed to appear in a later Special Issue: of the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry (ICQI) journal.

Martin, R. & Skerrett, M. (2013). Language Advancement at the Tribal Level and at the Centre, with Children in Ōtautahi/Christchurch New Zealand. In S. May, (Ed.) LED2011: Refereed conference proceedings of the 3nd International Conference on Language, Education and Diversity. Auckland, New Zealand: University of Auckland. ISBN: 978-0-473-24021-9.

Recent conference research outputs

Keynote: Skerrett, M.E. (2019) Te Kaahu Symposium: Data Sovereignty. Symposium held at Hopuhopu, Friday 6th December 2019.

Keynote: Skerrett, M.E. Beaglehole, R., Loveridge, J., & Ritchie, J. (2019) RECE (New Mexico) October 31-November 5. Alternative epistemologies and cosmologies: Critiquing discourses of colonialism and belonging in contexts of adultism, colonisation and extinction.

Keynote: Skerrett, M.E. (2019) Non-aggression from a Mātauranga Māori Perspective. Keynote given to the United Nations Association of New Zealand (UNA NZ) National Conference on 22 June 2019.

Keynote: Skerrett, M.E. (2019). Mātauranga Māori: Māori knowledge systems that enable ecological and sociolinguistic survival in Aotearoa, Kidsfirst Kindergartens Conference held at Canterbury University, Christchurch 16-17 April 2019.

Keynote: Skerrett, M.E. (2019). Considering Bio/Culture. Presentation to 8th International Art in Early Childhood Conference: Art as Dialogue – 27th January 2019.

Skerrett, M.E. (2019) Languages in New Zealand. Presentation given to a gathering of the Royal Society Research Project under the Marie Clay Research Centre, Auckland University.

Skerrett, M.E. (2019) Ko te reo kia rere : Te Tira Haere Tuarima o Te Panekiretanga ki Kānata. Te Puna o te Kii Conference, Te Kāreti o Waikato-Tainui, Hopuhopu, November.

Skerrett, M.E. (2019) Te Ohu Kaupapa Māori. New Zealand Teaching Council. Presentation on history/policy.

Skerrett, M.E. (2019) Ko te reo kia rere NZARE, Presentation given at Canterbury University, November.

Skerrett, M.E. (2019). Ancestral Research/Theorizing through Art: Indigenous Art as Sovereignty. Art as Dialogue Conference, 24-27 January 2019.

Terreni, L. & Skerrett, M.E. (2019). Art as Dialogue: Opening Speech 8th International Art in Early Childhood Conference, January.

Keynote: Skerrett, M.E. (2018). Human Rights to Language and the Relationship of Indigenous Languages to the Bioculture. Presentation to the United Nations Aotearoa Celebration, Victoria University, Monday 10th December.

Keynote: Skerrett, M.E. (2018). Mau ki te Manawa Tītī. 12 May 2018 IECS Te Pūmanawa Rangahau Kōhungahunga.

Ritchie, J., Skerrett, M., & Grace, R. (2018). Young Children’s Rights Enactment in early childhood education in three countries: Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Paper presented at the Oceania Comparative and International Education Society. Exploring, celebrating and deepening Oceanic relationalities, Victoria University of Wellington, Nov 19-22.

Skerrett, M., & Ritchie, J. (2018). Climate Change and Kaitiakitanga in Early Childhood Education in Aotearoa (New Zealand). Paper presented at the Pacific Climate Change Conference, Te Papa, Wellington, February 20-23.

Skerrett, M.E. (2018) Ara mai he tetekura: Māori knowledge systems and the Bioculture. Presentation to NZARE Conference held at AUT. Thursday, 28 June 2018.

Skerrett, M.E. (2018) Te Hinatore: Embodied Knowledges and Languages. Presentation to Sociolinguistics Conference held at Auckland University, Thursday, 28 June 2018

Skerrett, M.E. (2018) Mission in Mind: Shifts in the relationship between te reo Māori and the curriculum. Reconceptualising Early Childhood Education conference, Copenhagen, Denmark, 15 October 2018.

Skerrett, M.E. & Ritchie, J. (2018). Climate Change and Kaitiakitanga in Early Childhood Education in Aotearoa (New Zealand) Presentation to Pacific Climate Change Conference, Te Papa, February 20-23, 2018.

Keynote: Skerrett, M.E. & Ritchie, J. (2017). A fantastical journey: Re-imagining Te Whariki. Institute for Early Childhood Studies, Spring Research Seminar. Te Whāriki, 2017. New realities and possibilities. Victoria University of Wellington. 14th October 2017

Keynote: Skerrett, M., (2017). Reaching Out – Responsive and Inclusive Teaching Practices: Sustaining practices in early childhood education. Napier Kindergarten Association, Napier, 2nd October, 2017.

Keynote: Skerrett, M.E. (2017). Unconscious Bias in Indigenist forms of Peer Review. Presented to Te Puni Kōkiri on 9th May 2017.

Skerrett, M.E. (2017). Language-in-Mind/Ko te Reo kia Māori. He Manawa Whenua Indigenous Research Conference. Waikato University, Hamilton. 7th March 2017.

Skerrett, M.E. (2017). Transition of tamariki from Māori medium early learning environments to kura and school. NZARE, Waikato University, Hamilton, Wednesday 22nd November 2017. (Presentation with Richard Hill and Lesley Rameka.

Skerrett, M.E. (2017). The personal is political; Sustaining Indigenous Languages in Early Childhood Education. Presented at the 18th PECERA Annual Conference in Cebu, Philippines, 7th July 2017.


  • 2019 – Recipient of ‘Te Maatanga Doctoral Network’ Award, Hopuhopu, Tainui, 7 Dec 2019
  • 2019 – Recipient of the top female award ‘Te Kirikawa’ in tikanga Māori at the August 2019 graduation ceremony for Te Panekiretanga o te Reo (Māori Language School of Excellence)
  • 2015 – Recipient of Award – Kotahi Mano Kāika Reo Awards – Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu
  • 2015 – Research work and resource development carried out as part of my doctoral research has been acknowledged through Māori Television Show, Pūkoro (see name in the credits)


  • New Zealand Association for Research in Education (NZARE): Te Hunga Rangahau Mātauranga o Aotearoa – Co-President
  • Teaching Council New Zealand, Matatū Aotearoa – Adviser Te Ohu Kaupapa Māori
  • Indigenous Inquiries Circle. University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL, USA: Held annually at the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry
  • Royal Society (RSNZ) – Te Apārangi – Constituent Member
  • Ngā Wāhine Māori Toko i te Ora: Māori Womens Welfare League (MWWL): Vice President, Rāpaki Branch, Te Waipounamu
  • Te Hautū Kahurangi o Aotearoa: New Zealand Tertiary Education Union (TEU)
  • China New Zealand Education Trust (Community Organisation/NGO): Member of delegation to China, May-June 2009
  • Open Polytechnic of New Zealand (Teaching/Research Organisation): Bicultural Reviewer

Teaching in 2020