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Dr April Bennett PhD

Lecturer - Maori Environmental & Resource Planning

School of People, Environment and Planning

Dr April Bennett (Tūwharetoa, Waikato, Tūhoe, Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga) is the inaugural Lecturer in Māori Resource and Environmental Planning.  She has been working and studying in this field for 15 years.  She has a PhD in Planning, a Master of Philosophy in Planning, a Post-graduate Diploma in Māori Resource Development and a BA in Māori Studies.   In her doctoral research she examined how power structures iwi contributions to freshwater planning and decision-making using a case study of the Manawatū River. 

Outside the university, April has worked in Parliament for the Primary Production and Local Government and Environment select committees, in the Maruwhenua Group in the Ministry for the Environment, and for the Waikato Regional Council coordinating a sustainable development strategy for the Lake Taupō catchment.  She maintains close connections with one of her hapū, Ngāti Te Maunga, and serves on the Committee of Management for their incorporation, Hauhungaroa 2C. 

April has been a member of 2 multi-disciplinary teams that have conducted research for Waitangi Tribunal claimants in the Raukawa and Te Rohe Pōtae inquiry districts.  On the latter inquiry, she appeared before the tribunal as a technical witness. 

April has supervised several Honours and Masters students, mostly in the Māori Resource and Environmental Planning area, but some outside.  April is a 2014 alumni of the New Zealand Women in Leadership Programme, and is one of the kaikaranga for Massey University.  

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  • Doctor of Philosophy - Massey University (2015)

Research Expertise

Research Interests

Māori and the environment

Power and collaboration

Bourdieusian theories of power

Politics of freshwater planning


Resource Development and Management

Area of Expertise

Field of research codes
Built Environment And Design (120000): Land Use and Environmental Planning (120504): Urban and Regional Planning (120500)

Research Projects

Summary of Research Projects

Position Current Completed
Team Member 0 1

Research Outputs





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