Christine Kenney

Te Āti Awa, Ngāti Mutunga, Ngāti Toarangatira, Ngāi Tahu

Christine Kenney is the Kaiwhakahaere (Director) of Te Toi Whakaruruhau o Aotearoa and Professor of Disaster Risk Reduction at Massey University. A Māori social science researcher, Christine has a dual background in sociology and public health, which has informed her global research with Indigenous Peoples on climate change, disaster risk reduction and resilience.

Christine is committed to supporting the wellbeing of tangata whenua. Her community- led research in New Zealand addresses collaborative governance in DRR as well as Māori and Indigenous concerns pertaining to climate change, disaster risk reduction, response, recovery, workforce development and citizen science. To that end, Christine has developed a significant record in obtaining prestigious research funding from MBIE, the Marsden Fund, EQC and other entities. Her work has informed Government policy notably the New Zealand disaster resilience strategy (2019). Christine’s research has also been internationally recognised as best practice by the United Nations, prompting invitations to participate in UN global working groups, present keynotes at UN events and contribute to UN publications. Christine currently chairs the UNDRR/ISC International Indigenous Science caucus, is New Zealand’s nominated science adviser to the Warsaw mechanism on Loss and damages and she is a contributing author to the 2022 GAR (Global Assessment Report). 

A formal nominee for the Pacific seat on the United Nations’ Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (2017- 2019), Christine is actively engaged with her iwi, on whose behalf she has participated in Waitangi tribunal processes. She sits on the governance board of Te Rau Puawai, a Māori workforce development programme and is a member of the kaumātua rōpū at Whakarongotai marae.