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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.
Māori and the environment
Power and collaboration
Bourdieusian theories of power
Politics of freshwater planning
Resource Development and Management
Field of research codes
Built Environment And Design (120000): Land Use and Environmental Planning (120504): Urban and Regional Planning (120500)