Enriching national culture

Victoria University of Wellington is the country’s leading institution for vigorous, imaginative and challenging research on our national culture. As such, we attract scholars and students with expertise in these areas from all disciplines and lead thinking that contributes to innovative teaching and policymaking.

The University recognises the foundational importance of Māori culture to New Zealand and views the Treaty of Waitangi as a living organism—a partnership that enables communities to foster dynamic and productive interactions.

Putting national culture at the centre of debate connects many issues of justice, equity, history and place. The multidisciplinary breadth of the University's work produces new and exciting initiatives in teaching, research and analysis, and extends to inter-institutional collaborations.

He Whenua Haumako—Enriching National Culture

Literally means ‘fertile lands’ is drawn from the notion that for tangata whenua, identity is located in our land. As diverse as our geographical features are in this country so too are the components that contribute to our national culture.

Engaging with difficult histories

Associate Professor Joanna Kidman's Marsden Fund-supported research project on the New Zealand Wars is building understanding about an uncomfortable and violent part of the country's past.

Associate Professor Joanna Kidman and co-researchers look at a memorial to the 1864 battle at Ōrakau
Monserrat Navarro, educator at the Museo Nacional de las Culturas, Mexico, displays Orgullo Māori, a resource she developed for the E Tū Ake exhibition.

The cultural diplomacy of touring exhibitions

Museums that see international shows solely as blockbusters to bring in revenue and new audiences are missing an opportunity, says Victoria University of Wellington's Dr Lee Davidson.


The long history of Indians in New Zealand

It's a little know fact, but the first two Indians to set foot in Aotearoa did so as far back as 1769, just as Captain Cook's first Endeavour expedition was leaving the country's waters.

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Line-up of Sir Anand Satyanand, Bhav Dhillon, Sekhar Bandyopadhyay and Rakesh Naidoo at book launch.
Arini Loader and Mike Ross on Victoria University of Wellington marae with a copy of the waiata at the heart of their research project

Waiata a beacon of hope

Victoria University of Wellington researchers are recovering the artistic expression and intellectual history contained in a forgotten trove of Māori songcraft.

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Come along to Victoria's Butcher Shop Series

Butcher Shop Series

In these four lively discussions, we explored how meat, wine, dairy and wool influence our social and cultural—as well as economic—life.

Discover the series


What does it mean to live in New Zealand? Many of us think of New Zealanders as rural people wearing black singlets and gumboots, but who does that exclude?

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125 Years of Suffrage and Beyond

The First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, sent a supportive video to the conference Feminist Engagements in Aotearoa: 125 Years of Suffrage and Beyond. The conference was hosted by Victoria University of Wellington’s Stout Research Centre for New Zealand Studies and attended by more than 150 delegates.

Te Whare Wānanga o te Ūpoko o te Ika a Māui—Living up to our name

Professor Charlotte Macdonald and Dr Mike Ross chair this forum as part of Victoria University of Wellington’s commitment to further develop ‘Enriching national culture’ as one of its areas of academic distinctiveness. Professor Susy Frankel, Professor Jeff Tatum, Professor Yiyan Wang, Professor Simon Keller, Nan O’Sullivan and Dr Ocean Mercier each speaks about how the Treaty of Waitangi can inform and shape their very different research fields.

Centres, institutes and chairs

The multidisciplinary research centres, institutes and chairs at Victoria University of Wellington provide a platform for our world leading researchers to collaborate and focus on significant research challenges related to Enriching national culture.

Our research

Our diverse and multi-dimensional expertise in teaching and research on the Treaty and issues of national culture is world-class.

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Aerial shot of Wellington CBD

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