Spatial Design at AUT

School of Art + Design, AUT University, Auckland, NZ

Moana Nepia graduates as Doctor of Philosophy from AUT

Moana Nepia graduates as Doctor of Philosophy from AUT

Moana’s PhD thesis, supervised by Tina Engels-Schwarzpaul, Welby Ings and Wiremu Kaa, explores Te Kore (nothingness, void and potentiality). His exegesis articulates the first creative practice-led PhD methodology rooted in mātauranga and tikanga Māori. The research generated national and international video screenings; an hour-long performance (ten performers, one Harley Davidson and one dog) ; a duet nominated as the most memorable dance event in New Zealand in 2012; and poetry published in a journal of contemporary Māori writing. Moana also received funding from Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga to publish all poems in the first volume of his exegesis.

The day after graduation Moana departs for Honolulu and a new position as Assistant Professor at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, where he will help to develop a new strand in art, culture and performance of the Pacific in the Centre for Pacific Island Studies. Moana looks forward to the opportunities this challenge will provide for future international collaboration, research and publication.

Moana’s exegesis, Te Kore – Exploring the Māori concept of void, is accessible at: