Tia Neha

Dr Tia Neha profile picture

Lecturer School of Psychology


Teaching in 2020

Research interests

Whānau, Indigenous, Developmental and Educational Psychology


PhD University of Otago

MA University of Canterbury


Kei te mihi, kei te mihi, kei te mihia ki a koutou. Nō te uri o Ngā Puhi, Ngāti Kahungunu, Te Whānau Ā Apanui me Ngāti Porou. Ka tipua ahau i Otepoti. Ko Tia Neha ahau. Anei te mahi rangahau i te hapori o te whānau whanui. Greetings to you all. I hail from Northland, the Hawkes Bay, the East Cape and the East Coast of New Zealand. I grew up in the southern region of Dunedin. My name is Tia Neha. Feel free to check out the range of work that I have been involved in which is whānau focused and based.

I completed my PhD ”Me Maumaharatanga Ngā Kōrero o Ngā Whānau, Family Recollections and Social Contributions to Māori Children’s Learning, under the supervision of Professor Elaine Reese and Dr Mele Taumoepeau in 2016. In my dissertation, I investigated the role of culture and autobiographical memory and to what extent these factors link to Māori children’s school readiness.

Ngā mihi maha ki a koutou, many thanks to you all.

Te Whānau Lab

Nau mai, haere mai ki Te Whānau Lab o Te Kura Mātai Hinengaro. Welcome to the Whānau Lab from the School of Psychology

Research interests

Tia's current research interests include four key areas, broadly linked and overarched by relationships within Māori and Indigenous Developmental Psychology. These areas include:

  1. indigenous and developmental psychology in the interdependent relations between whānau and their children’s learning
  2. autobiographical memory with whānau
  3. language research
  4. Māori paediatric health
  • Indigenous and Developmental Psychology in the Interdependent Relations between Whānau, Māori Children’s School Readiness and School – This research area of interest is the link between culturally responsive learning environments for whānau Māori and school readiness eg early language, self-control - experimental and developmentally applied work, emergent literacy and numeracy, assessment for children from multiple contexts.
  • Autobiographical Memory– This research focuses on autobiographical memory that involves dyadic, reminiscing strategies that link to identity (e.g., linking autobiographical memory from whānau situated in the South Island of New Zealand to their child’s self-and collective construal, moral memory, social emotional interactions, learning and ecological well-being competencies).
  • Language Research – This research places emphasis on the orthographical transparency of Te Reo and the opaque features of the English language respectively. Primarily the argument is that a transparent orthography such as Te Reo will enable children to learn to read earlier than the English orthographical nuances. After acquiring the Te Reo skills, children can then be taught how to develop reading and writing abilities in English.
  • Māori Paediatric Health – This research area of interest addresses prior work that was initiated from a longitudinal neurological-developmental study on whānau and the developmental outcomes on Māori infants who were exposed to either organic or chemical substances whilst in utero. Future work in another project will involve comparing Māori children’s personal injury narratives from 1995 and in 2015.

You can also find Tia Neha on Research Gate.


2014 Organising Committee Member for the New Zealand Educational Psychology Forum

2012 New Zealand Fulbright Alumni Association member

2012 International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology

2012 Society for Research in Child Development

2012 Native American and Indigenous Studies Association

2010 Māori Association of Social Sciences member

2012 Comparative and Cross-Cultural Studies Theme Group-University of Otago member

2004 – current Ngā Pae o Te Māramatanga, Tū Mai Paerua – University of Canterbury and Otago member

2007 – 2016 Developmental Psychology Group - University of Otago

1998 onwards New Zealand Psychological Society


Selected publications


Teaching in 2020